The Newcastle Knights have signed the Cronulla Sharks and Kiwis forward Jeremy Smith, leaving coach Wayne Bennett shaking his head at his luck.
The Knights found a silver lining from a disappointing season when the New Zealander was released from his contract at Cronulla to reunite with Bennett, the coach he thrived under at St George Illawarra where he won a premiership in 2010.
The 32-year-old Smith had one season to run on his three-year-deal at the Sharks but was released for personal reasons.
Bennett says he was surprised to have a player of Smith's quality arrive on his doorstep as he just didn't think a quality player like him would become available.
Cronulla are well covered in the back-row department, with off-season signings Luke Lewis from Penrith and former Wests Tiger Chris Heighington joining skipper Paul Gallen, Anthony Tupou, Jayson Bukuya and Wade Graham in 2013.