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Newcastle Herald
Newcastle Herald
Barry Toohey

TOOHEY'S NEWS: Hoy's English deal resurrected as Milford decision nears

Utility back Tex Hoy is poised to quit the Newcastle Knights and the NRL at the end of the season to join Hull in England after having his deal with the Super League club resurrected.

Hoy has agreed to link with Hull, coached by former NSW Origin fullback and Wests Tigers premiership winner Brett Hodgson, for the next two seasons.

It comes after the deal was in jeopardy late last week when the Knights refused a request from Hoy's management to release him immediately to play out the remainder of this season in England.

Tex Hoy

Hull wanted him as a replacement for former Bulldogs and Tigers five-eighth Josh Reynolds and there were fears in the Hoy camp the deal would be pulled and another player pursued because of the Knights' refusal to grant an early release.

But after several days of negotiations, an agreement has been reached.

"It's been saved," a source close to the 22-year-old five-eighth/fullback told us.

"There were some initial doubts that it would go ahead when the Knights wouldn't let him go but it's been sorted. He's committed to going over there for two years and it's exactly what he needs. He'll come back a much better player for it."

Hoy, who played his second straight NRL game at fullback last night, deputising for Kalyn Ponga, is on a fulltime development contract that is worth little more than $50,000 this season.

With Huddersfield teenager Will Pryce potentially joining the Knights in 2023, there were no guarantees Hoy would have been offered another contract.

Dom negotiations to ramp up

Negotiations to extend outstanding young Knights winger Dom Young's contract beyond the end of 2023 will kick off next week with the club keen to tie the giant Englishman down for at least a further two years.

Young is still only 20 but has been a revelation on the right wing this season with his hat-trick of tries in last week's demolition of the Gold Coast continuing his rich vein of form for the club.

"I think the sky's the limit for Dom," his manager Michael Cincotta told us. "He hasn't turned 21 yet and there is just so much up-side there with him and I'm sure the Knights recognise that.

"We'll sit down and have a discussion and see where things are at. Dom's certainly enjoying it at the moment and he is a very appreciative guy. He's appreciative of the opportunities he's been given at the Knights."

Meanwhile, Young will have a bitter-sweet decision to make if he is drafted into the England squad for the World Cup at the end of the season. At present, Young is looking forward to representing Jamaica at the tournament, not the least because he will get to play alongside his brother Alex.

Big boots to fill

Still on Young and it's no surprise the Knights winger is also kicking some endorsement goals off the field given his size and unique look.

A number of companies have made inquires and he is already doing some work with Superdry clothing.

His management is also on the verge of securing a footy boot sponsorship deal but we can reveal he won't be signing with either Nike or Adidas. While they may both be industry giants, turns out neither company makes boots big enough to fit Young's massive size 16 feet.

Milf call imminent

There is no deadline in place but the Knights expect to find out within the next fortnight if Anthony Milford is prepared to turn his back on Wayne Bennett and the Dolphins to extend his stay in Newcastle beyond the end of the season.

The club wants an answer sooner rather than later with his decision to impact on other potential recruits.

In response to the Knights renewed interest in keeping the ex-Broncos playmaker, the Dolphins upped the ante this week in a meeting with his manager Sam Ayoub by increasing their offer of a one-year-deal by adding on a second year.

It could well be enough to get them across the line although Knights insiders believe it is still a 50/50 bet.

Clifford dilemma

It wasn't too long ago the Knights were seriously considering extending Jake Clifford's contract beyond the end of next season.

But now the out-of-favour playmaker's future at the club could well hinge on how successful the Knights are on the halves recruitment front. Clifford is currently playing NSW Cup with coach Adam O'Brien preferring Adam Clune alongside Anthony Milford in the halves in the top grade.

Clifford would be even further down the pecking order and on the outer if the club was to re-sign Milford and potentially pick up Luke Brooks from the Wests Tigers for next season.

Dom closing in on Klem

Edrick Lee rightly claimed the headlines but wing partner Dom Young was not too far behind him in the Knights much-needed win over the Titans in round 16.

Young picked up 2 points in our player of the year competition, just ahead of Anthony Milford, moving him to within 3 points of leader David Klemmer.

Rd 16: Knights v Titans

3 Edrick Lee 2 Dom Young 1 Anthony Milford

Progress points: 15 David Klemmer 12 Dom Young 7 Tyson Frizell, Mitch Barnett, Kalyn Ponga. Kurt Mann 5 Chris Randall, Edrick Lee 4 Dane Gagai, Jake Clifford, Anthony Milford 2 Tex Hoy, Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Enari Tuala 1 Bradman Best.

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