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Knights drop Votu

February 25
09:56 2012

Watisoni Votu has been dropped from Newcastle Knights.

BY ROBERT DILLON of Newcastle Herald

The Knights are poised to sign Fijian triallist Simione Sawene but have no plans to recruit his high-profile countryman Watisoni Votu.
Sawene and Votu have played in three reserve-grade trials and spent the past month training with the Knights.
Sawene, a 20-year-old front-rower who grew up in Brisbane, has shown enough for the Knights to believe he can be a project player in their NSW Cup squad.
But Votu, the 26-year-old winger who captained Fiji’s World Sevens rugby union team in December, is understood to be considering offers from overseas.
Knights chief executive Matt Gidley said Sawene would be offered a second-tier deal.
”We were probably looking for a front-rower to bolster our resources in the NSW Cup squad and Simione has been impressive in the trials and he’s been rewarded,” Gidley said. ”He’ll be offered a 12-month contract.”
Gidley was hopeful Votu would benefit from his short stint with the Knights.
”He’s spent a few weeks training with an NRL club and hopefully he’ll learn from that experience and it will help him become a better player,” he said.
Sawene, who represented Fiji at the IRB World Junior Championship in Italy last June, is best known as a No.8 in rugby union but has been used as a prop since joining Newcastle.
At 196 centimetres and 111kilogrammes, he appears to have the physical attributes to make an impact in the 13-man code.
Newcastle’s coaching staff believes he is young enough to make a successful transition.

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