Former Queensland under 20s back-rower Beau Fermor is returning to the Sunshine State on a three-year deal with the Gold Coast Titans after securing a release from the Newcastle Knights.
Knights coach Adam O’Brien has a high opinion of the 21-year-old but agreed to release him a year before his contract expires so he could return closer to his family and secure a long-term deal.
The Titans announced on Thursday afternoon that Fermor had inked a contract until the end of 2023.
Fermor was the NSWRL and Newcastle Jersey Flegg player of the year in 2018 and he was a key member the same season of the Queensland under-20 team that won its maiden interstate clash with NSW.
The Dalby-raised forward, who was earlier in the Storm system for several seasons, ruptured his ACL last August after impressing in the Canterbury Cup competition but is expected to be available to play early in the 2020 season for the Titans where he will give the club added depth on the edges.
"While it is unfortunate we won’t get to see Beau on the field straight away because of his knee injury, he certainly brings a lot of upside and a lot of talent to the Titans’ roster," head of performance and culture Mal Meninga said.
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"Beau is an exciting prospect, as evidence by the fact he is on the radar with the Queensland selectors. He will bring depth to our playing pool, but just as importantly, he is a respectful young man who fits in with the culture of the Gold Coast Titans.
"Beau will come straight into our top-30 NRL squad. He is well ahead of schedule in his recovery from knee surgery, and we look forward to him pushing for a first grade debut in the early rounds of the 2020 season."
Gold Coast signed former Knights back-rower Sam Stone mid-season in 2019 and last year extended Darius Farmer until the end of 2021. That trio will keep the heat on Kevin Proctor and Bryce Cartwright this year.
Fermor is the third signing new coach Justin Holbrook has made this year after securing former Warriors hooker/half Erin Clark to a two-year deal and former Eels outside back Greg Leleisiuao recently.