Knights sign Dragons utility Kurt Mann

Newcastle have signed Kurt Mann to a three-year NRL deal as they eye converting the 'Mr Fix It' into a No.9.

The Knights on Monday confirmed they had snared Mann's signature until the end of the 2021 season after he was granted a release by St George Illawarra.

Coach Nathan Brown confirmed he intends to convert Mann into a dummy-half - despite him never having started there - as Slade Griffin recovers from a fourth ACL injury.

"We identified Kurt as a player of interest quite some time ago," Brown said.

"We believe Kurt has the potential to become a hooker and his ability to play a range of positions is an added bonus in today's game.

"Kurt expressed a desire to secure a regular position and he'll be given every opportunity to do that."

During his 90 NRL games for St George Illawarra and Melbourne, the 25-year-old played every position in the backline and was this year used by Paul McGregor as a bench forward.

He has played 33 games at centre, 17 on the wing, seven at five-eighth, four at fullback, four at halfback and 23 off the bench.

Brown views Mann as being sturdy enough to be a hooker - he joins Danny Levi and Jamie Buhrer as contenders for the starting hooker role.

Mann's signing casts doubt on former New Zealand Test hooker Levi's future at the club.

The Dragons had previously said they would not release Mann without a suitable replacement and have been linked with Parramatta half Corey Norman and South Sydney fullback Alex Johnson.

Australian Associated Press