Newcastle’s former NSW prop Ben Cross says he’s open to all offers for next season, but the Knights’ off-field dramas won’t affect his decision.
The 31-year-old is off-contract at season’s end along with stand-in skipper Steve Simpson and, with the NRL club’s forward ranks already thinned by drugs charges against Danny Wicks and Chris Houston, the Knights would be keen to lock up their most experienced forwards.
“He is very comfortable with the organisation and their roster, it’s just a matter of seeing what’s best for his career and commercially.”
With lost time in representative football on his radar, Cross is keen to stay in the NRL and, inspired by veteran front-rowers Petero Civoniceva and Steve Price, believes he can play for another three-four years.
“At this stage I’ll be open to all offers but I’d like to stay in the NRL,” he said.
"I still have aspirations, representative and all that sort of stuff, but obviously if there’s opportunities come up overseas I’d be a fool not to look at them because they might not be there in the future.
“I’ll just assess everything when they come about.”
Cross, who has played just 16 games in two injury-plagued years at Newcastle, is also keen to talk to the Knights.
“I love the town, love the club,” he said.
"The players are really starting to come together and we’re like a tight-knit group so I’d love to stay if that’s a possibility.
"I think I’ve probably got about three or four years left in me.
"I take heart when I see guys like Petero running around and Steve Price.
“I’ve had two years on the sidelines so I haven’t had the bumps and grinds of footy and, talking to our physios, my body’s feeling pretty good.”
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Yay or nay for 2011?