FORMER Newcastle Knights fullback Nathan 'Ross Dog' Ross will play with Wingham Tigers in the Group Three Rugby League competition next year.
The Tigers confirmed Ross's signing this week.
Ross, 33, played 60 NRL games with the Knights between 2015 and 2019 while he represented Country against City in 2017. He gained cult hero status with the Knights fans for his whole-hearted performances in what were generally bleak years for the club.
Ross is a close mate of Wingham product and former Knights forward Mitch Barnett. Barnett, who heads to the New Zealand Warriors next year, is Wingham captain-coach Mitch Collins' brother-in-law.
"Barney's been looking out for a player for us,'' Collins explained.
"He asked Nathan and he's jumped aboard. This is massive news for us.''
While he's been out of the game a couple of years, Collins said fitness won't be a concern for Ross, who he said is a regular at the gym.
"And he's only 33, so he still has plenty to offer. He'll be great for some of our younger blokes, like Harry (Lewis) and Nash (Atkins).''
Collins said Ross, who lives in the Newcastle area, will train at least once a week with the side.
"He'll take on a leadership role with us as well,'' Collins said.
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While he can cover a number of backline positions, Collins expects Ross will start at fullback for the Tigers.
Wingham bowed out of the premiership race this year when beaten by Port City in the preliminary final at Port Macquarie. This was Collins's debut season as a captain-coach.
Collins said the side's performance this year has sparked interest among former players now living outside the area.
"They saw how close we came this year and they want to come back and win a premiership,'' he said.
He anticipates more signings will be made soon.
"But we won't say anything until they have signed,'' Collins added.
Collins expects the majority of this year's team to be back in 2023. In a further boost, the Tigers will have an under18s after failing to field a team in the junior grade this year.
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