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South Sydney confirm Gagai NRL signing

NZN 10/06/2017 Matt Encarnacion

South Sydney have looked to keep their premiership window open after confirming the signing of Newcastle star Dane Gagai on a four-year NRL deal.

The announcement on Saturday comes three weeks after the struggling Knights confirmed Gagai would be leaving the club at season's end.

Gagai's arrival for next season will add to the expected return of Rabbitohs skipper Greg Inglis after his knee reconstruction and gives coach Michael Maguire another elite option at fullback, wing and centre.

"Dane is one of the best outside backs in the competition and he has played plenty of football at the elite levels of the game in a variety of positions across the backline," Maguire said.

"His ability and versatility on the field will be matched by the experience he will be able to bring to the young backs in our squad off the field.

"Plus he has the added experience of putting in the hard work to reach State of Origin level at this stage of his career."

Gagai, 26, has played 124 NRL games since his debut for Brisbane in 2011, with 119 of those for the Knights. He has represented Queensland six times since his Origin debut in 2015.

"He's a man of great character and has leadership qualities that he will bring to the club too," ," Maguire said.

"He's also very active in the indigenous community and he will fit in well with the community programs and initiatives run by Souths Cares."

The signing of Gagai comes as Souths assess their crop of off-contract players in the backline, including regular first-graders Bryson Goodwin, Aaron Gray and Alex Johnston.

Forwards Robbie Rochow, John Sutton and David Tyrell are also without deals for next year.

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