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Newcastle Herald

Why the Knights were happy for winger to join rival NRL club

PHINS UP: Edrick Lee will link up with Wayne Bennett and the NRL's newest franchise from next season.

They might have missed out on Kalyn Ponga, but the Dolphins have signed one of the Knights cult heroes.

Edrick Lee will link up with Wayne Bennett and the NRL's newest franchise from next season.

Newcastle chief executive Phil Gardner said the Knights couldn't match the multi-year deal on offer from the Dolphins.

"As a club, we're very happy for Edrick and his family to return home to Queensland and secure his future," Gardner said.

"In the end, it was a long-term deal we couldn't match.

"We thank Edrick for his time at the Knights and look forward to seeing him continue his career and his incredible work off the field with Deadly Choices."

Lee did not play a game last year and the Knights feared he would be forced to retire after a career-threatening broken bone in his foot early in the 2021 pre-season.

But he was offered a train-and-trial contract, which allowed him to gradually regain his fitness and confidence and earn a full-time deal.

"It is this type of attitude that gives us confidence he will be a major contributor for the Dolphins in 2023 and beyond," Dolphins chief executive Terry Reader said.

"We have seen Edrick's class at the highest level and are excited he will be part of the Dolphins' first ever team.

"The Dolphins are pleased to be able to bring another Queensland product back to their home state to be part of a historic time for the club."

Lee scored a try in the Knights' defeat of the Bulldogs on Friday night.