It is still unknown who will partner Mitchell Pearce at five-eighth in 2020 so Phoenix Crossland may just be the perfect fit for the Newcastle Knights.
The 19-year-old only played 12 minutes of first grade in Round 16 this year but incoming coach Adam O’Brien has spoken about his interest in the young talent.
“I really like the look of Phoenix Crossland, both physically and actually what he does with the game,” O’Brien said.
“He’s got a really good kicking game, a good strong passing game so I see him as an option.”
The New Zealand born Crossland made his long-awaited debut in the Knights round 16 loss to the Warriors. While he only played a small amount of minutes, Crossland showed promise and proved why he’s considered a star of the future.
Following his debut, he played out the rest of the season in the Canterbury Cup. In his 15 appearances, he bagged six tries, four try assists and 300 tackles in his push to claim more NRL game time.
The Erina Eagles junior has come through the Knights’ system and notched up some representative honours along the way, including being a part of the NSW Under-16s and 18s teams over the past three years.
He was also named as 20th man in the NSW Under-20s squad this year and would have likely played had he not been pulled out by the Knights following his NRL debut.
The halfback looks set for a breakout year in 2020 as it shapes to be a very important season for him. Crossland is signed to the Knights until the end of 2021 but has expressed his desire to be a one-club man and stay at Newcastle long term.