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The Roar



Will Dane Gagai help Newcastle return to relevance?

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Roar Guru
10th August, 2021

After a four-year stint playing for South Sydney, which will conclude at season’s end, Dane Gagai will be travelling back up the M1 to return to the Newcastle Knights on a three-year deal.

The Mackay native will return after previously spending five and a half seasons with the Novocastrians. He begun his time with the Knights as a 21-year-old rookie, in which he added 128 games and 29 tries during his time there as well as becoming a regular Queensland representative.

During his stint in Newcastle, he was a standout player as the Knights were going through the rebuilding process, which to this day stands in infamy for our proud club.

Adam O’Brien is now trying to bring back the winning culture that our team was built on. There are signs that is exactly what we’re doing and yes we have been thumped a fair few times this season but we have also won games this year without Mitchell Pearce. We won four games without him and that’s double the amount we won without him in 2018.

We have seen the damage our team can do with our full spine and that shows we are not the same team we were 10 years ago. Instead of going through a rebuilding stage, we’re building towards brining back the winning culture we once had.

This is a different team to the one Dane Gagai was in a number of years ago. Our team is building towards success and it may be a slow process but it will be worth it.

A number of questions have been asked about Gagai’s return, mostly surrounding where he will play.

Our left centre wing pairing is Bradman Best and Enari Tuala then we go the right side for Kurt Mann and Hymel Hunt. All said players have pretty much locked in those spots. We also have got a serious amount of depth for the centres and wings.

It will be interesting to see where Dane will play and instead of giving my suggestions, I will leave it up to O’Brien. I also do hope my fellow Knights fans do the same.


Gagai in his years at the Knights formed a very good combination with Akuila Uate. Over the years, they shared a number of tries as the first choice right centre/wing combination. My favourite thing about his return is the fact he wants to play for us. Instead of just coming here for the sake of it, we want players to want to play for our team.

So Roarers, what do you think about Dane Gagai returning to Newcastle?