A desire to play with an experienced roster was a critical factor in Robbie Rochow opting to move to South Sydney next NRL season.
The Rabbitohs bolstered their playing stocks for 2017 after announcing the signing of Rochow, who spurned advances from Cronulla and Parramatta to sign a one-year deal at Redfern.
Rochow, who suffered a season-ending pectoral injury in round 19, was considered a key piece to Newcastle’s rebuilding effort under Nathan Brown.
However, he said he was swayed by the opportunity to play alongside veterans at the Rabbitohs.
“It was obviously a tough decision to leave the Knights but one that I felt was for the best,” Rochow said on Friday.
“The club has been great to me but it feels like the right time to step outside my comfort zone. I still have a lot to improve on in my game and going to a club with senior players was a factor in my decision.”
The 26-year-old re-unites with Michael Maguire, who was an assistant coach at Melbourne during Rochow’s two years at the Storm in 2010-11.
“He will bring great character and leadership to our club next season. He’s a very driven individual and wants to add to the culture we have built here at South Sydney,” Maguire said.
Rochow is the fifth player signed by the Rabbitohs in the past 48 hours, joining Penrith youngster Robert Jennings and Parramatta talent Tyrell Fuimaono.