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Knights closing in on new NRL signings

NZN 7/06/2016

Coach Nathan Brown is hopeful of having two fresh faces at Newcastle very soon to help lift the NRL strugglers off the bottom of the ladder.

Reports have emerged that the Knights will sign Sydney Roosters centre Brendan Elliott and Canberra back-rower Mitch Barnett this week to bolster their injury-hit squad.

The Roosters confirmed late on Tuesday afternoon that Elliott would be released.

The 22-year-old, who debuted for the Roosters in 2014, had played 14 NRL matches for the club.

But he struggled to find a place in first grade this season despite injuries at the Roosters.

Before the Roosters confirmed the release of Elliott Brown said the signings were imminent.

"It hasn't happened but it is definitely something that's getting closer," he said.

Elliott could slide in as a replacement for Nathan Ross who is in doubt for Saturday's match against the Warriors with a calf injury.

Barnett, meanwhile, hasn't played first grade for the Raiders since last season.

But Brown had faith in both.

"They're very salary-cap friendly which is good," he laughed.

"They're both young players that we feel will definitely improve our squad, which is the key for us.

"Both can play first-grade now, we think, and are ready to play first-grade now. They've got plenty of good things for our team and our club."

The Knights, who have lost seven in a row, are set to welcome back Korbin Sims from a one-match suspension for this weekend's clash at Hunter Stadium.

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