Rabbitohs forwards Mark Nicholls and Liam Knight.

Liam Knight doesn't need any reminder of his chequered past but the Rabbitohs prop hasn't been able to escape his former NRL clubs during the finals series.  

He'll complete the trifecta on Friday night against the Raiders at GIO Stadium after a stint with the Green Machine last season.

Before that, he lasted just eight months of a three-year deal at the Roosters, who the Bunnies met in round 25 and then again in the opening week of the finals.

South Sydney's most recent opponent - the Sea Eagles - was where it all started for Knight. That ended on a sour note when he was let go by the club in 2016 after he was charged with high-range drink driving.

"I definitely haven't been able to escape it playing them all in the last four weeks but to be honest I haven't thought about it too much, I don't look back on what I've done," Knight told NRL.com.

"I wasn't professional and didn't carry myself with much integrity. I don't even know if I am now but I feel like I've grown up a bit.

"When I was 20 and got ahead of myself there were blokes I grew up with all killing it and I was carrying on off the field.

"I wasn't taking the opportunities at other clubs and made some bad decisions. I've never been a regular first-grader before this year."

Knight was at a crossroads when he was let go by the Roosters for a poor attitude and training ethic in 2017.

He met with Ricky Stuart and a short-term deal was laid out on the table.

"I wasn't keen on a move down there at all, but then I got down to Canberra and had a look around," Knight said.

"I felt like that was my last chance. Ricky was honest, he said he didn't know much about my past and didn't care but he wanted me to just turn up with a good attitude and train hard.

"It was a big turning point for me, I made a lot of good off-field choices."

Knight's stint in the nation's capital lasted just 12 months and landed him at the Rabbitohs under Wayne Bennett.

It was a deal Knight couldn't refuse despite a career-saving time at the Raiders.

Rabbitohs prop Mark Nicholls.
Rabbitohs prop Mark Nicholls. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

"Both Ricky and Wayne are straight up and honest," Knight said.

"I have a stronger relationship with Wayne for whatever reason. I can talk to him about things, not that I couldn't with Ricky, but I just clicked with Wayne and got my headspace right.

"Wayne said to me if you don't work hard you won't be in my team and that was all the motivation I needed, straight up, I couldn't hide from that."

Match: Raiders v Rabbitohs

Finals Week 3 -

Full Time
Raiders

Home Team

Raiders

Scored 16 points
Rabbitohs

Away Team

Rabbitohs

Scored 10 points

Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra

Match broadcasters:

  • Nine Network
  • FOXTEL
  • LIVE PASS

Rabbitohs forward Mark Nicholls has seen an improvement in Knight's game since the pair first met.

"He's really kicked on and with the injuries and suspensions we've had this year he's put his hand up to do a job," Nicholls said.

"And he's a good kid, he's been around a lot of clubs but at his age he's still got the world at his feet."

Nicholls, a former Raiders junior, played alongside the likes of Jarrod Croker, Sam Williams and Josh Papalii when coming through the system.

The 29-year-old played his local footy with Gungahlin but is now preparing to deny his former club and local community a spot in the grand final for the first time in 25 years.

"I know from being down there it's been a long time and that preliminary final a few years ago against Melbourne it hurt them to lose on the bell," Nicholls said.

"I know how much they want but I haven't played in a grand final either and have been around a long time now on the fringe so I want it too.

"That's what you play footy for and I hope we get the result and not them as much as the city would go nuts we've got our own fans who deserve some success as well."

 

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