Knights lock in O'Brien for two more years

Newcastle have backed rookie coach Adam O'Brien to break a 20-year NRL premiership drought after extending his contract until the end of 2024.

The former Melbourne and Sydney Roosters assistant broke a seven-year finals hiatus with the Knights last year and has been backed to take them even further with the two-year extension.

O'Brien was already contracted until the end of 2022 but the Knights have staved off any approaches from rival clubs with the extended deal.

That includes Melbourne, with the club rumoured to be interested in bringing O'Brien back to the Storm as a replacement for Craig Bellamy once he leaves the job.

Through adversity O'Brien was impressive in his debut year as an NRL coach in 2020 but the Knights bowed out of the finals in the first week.

His next challenge is delivering the Knights their first premiership since 2001.

"This is an ideal outcome for everyone, it provides great personal security for Adam and his wife Sharyn and it means that we can continue to build the foundations required for the club to be consistently successful," Knights boss Phil Gardner said.

"Adam's continued growth and evolution as a coach confirms he is the right person to lead the Newcastle Knights now and into the future.

"We are absolutely thrilled to know that he will be here until at least 2024, and hopefully many more years after that."