Newcastle Knights head coach Adam O’Brien said it felt “like hugging a corpse” when embracing Connor Watson during a training session.
The 25-year-old’s future had come into focus in recent weeks, as he was heavily linked with a move to the Sydney Roosters.
The race to the 2021 NRL Telstra Finals Series is on and every game matters. Watch Live & Ad-Break Free on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-days free >
Watson eventually inked a two-year deal to play with Trent Robinson’s side from 2022 onwards, but O’Brien revealed just how difficult the decision had become for Watson in recent weeks.
“One of the mornings last week I could see how much this was weighing him down,” O’Brien said.
“I remember giving him a hug, it was like hugging a corpse.
“I care about him, he’s a good person. He’s a good human being, he’s a credit to his family.