Knights local junior confirms future with long-term deal
Crossland played an ever increasing role for the Knights in 2023 following the season-ending injury to first-choice dummy half Jayden Brailey.
While Crossland has played predominantly as a half, his game has changed over the last 24 months where the Knights had been shaping him into a running forward, able to come off the bench and play at lock
That changed again in 2023 though when Crossland split hooking duties with Kurt Mann following the injury to Brailey.
Crossland impressed during his time on the park, and the local junior has been rewarded for his outstanding season with a new three-year deal that provides the Knights with versatility and depth in multiple positions.
The 23-year-old has already played in 60 NRL games since his 2019 debut at the age of 18, where he was rated as one of the best juniors in the game.
He has failed to reach those heights, but has become a valuable part of Adam O’Brien‘s side who surprised the majority to make a semi-final in 2023 where they fell short against the New Zealand Warriors.
“We are grateful Phoenix has decided to extend his career at the Knights,” Newcastle Knights Director of Football Peter Parr said in a club statement confirming the news.
“Phoenix has shown he has all the attributes to be a major contributor to the club’s future success and we are excited about what he can achieve in the coming years.”
Crossland, who was awarded the Knights’ 2023 gladiator of the year award, also finished in the top ten for tacklers.
It’s unclear what role he will play in 2024 following the return of Brailey, however, it could be reasonably assumed a bench utility spot may be his calling to begin the season.