Sydney Roosters sign Connor Watson from Newcastle Knights

The Sydney Roosters have pulled off a major coup by recruiting in-demand utility Connor Watson from the Newcastle Knights.

The Daily Telegraph reports Watson will join the Roosters from next season on a two-year deal.

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Newcastle was keen to keep Watson on its roster and even offered him a contract extension for three years, which Knights coach Adam O’Brien described as a “more than competitive” offer.

But after Watson missed a club-imposed decision deadline last week, it appeared all but certain he would leave Newcastle.

The Knights wanted a call made either way before last weekend’s win against Cronulla but Watson said he needed more time to make a decision.

Connor Watson will improve the Roosters’ depth in key positions. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

As it eventuated, the 25-year-old has settled on the decision to sign with the Roosters — the club where he started his career and played 38 games across two seasons before joining the Knights in 2018.

Watson’s return to Bondi is a huge boost for the Roosters’ playing stocks over several positions, which have been battered by injury this year.

Watson, who played his 100th NRL game on the weekend, has lined up at fullback, five-eighth, lock and hooker throughout his career and his versatility will be a major asset to the Roosters.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson was coy when asked earlier this month about whether he had tried to lure Watson back to his former club.

“I’ve talked to him but I’ve also tried to help him as well in other places because I’ve known him as well,” Robinson.

Watson will return to the club where he started his NRL career. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

“We talked about two things — whether there was an opening at the Roosters but then also what are the best options for him.

“I’ve kept in contact with Connor for the last four years since he’s been away. And I’m always there for him and other players if they need advice as well.”

Returning to play under Robinson was likely a key part of Watson’s decision to return to the Roosters.

Kurt Mann could replace Watson in the utility position at Newcastle next season, while the Knights have also signed outside back Dane Gagai for the next three seasons.

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