Newcastle have reportedly signed a New Zealand schoolboy rugby union star on the back of just three games in rugby league.

Ofa Manuofetoa was spotted by Knights scouts while making his debut in the 13-man game at an under-17 tournament in Rotorua this year.

The 17-year-old stands at 193cm and 104kg, but played fullback for his Canterbury-based Timaru Boys' High School rugby first XV.

"I've been studying a booklet with the basics (of rugby league) which I am trying to get my head around," Manuofetoa told Fairfax Media. "It's pretty exciting but I have a lot to learn.


"I expect it will be tough but I will give it my best shot."

He is expected to play with the Knights under-18s before graduating to the Holden Cup for under-20s.