BRETT Davey has put the departure of 19 players from Castle Park down to the ‘nature of the game.’
Davey confirmed the raft of departures to the Free Press, a list which includes PJ Gidlow, Latu Makaafi and player of the season Zack Farivarz.
But the director of rugby has refused to press the panic button and claims he has lined up replacements in all but two positions.
He said: “It’s a difficult situation but one you get used to because it’s just how it is.
“Most of the players who are leaving have been offered better terms elsewhere and that’s just a fact of life for this club.
“There are certainly players we would have liked to have kept hold of but we’re not in a position to compete financially with other clubs.
“A couple of the lads we thought were not quite right for us.
“I have no problems with players going to the Premiership because it’s a natural progression.
“I understand we’ll be a springboard for players on their way up and I’m happy enough with that.
“It’s a bit disappointing when you’re trying to build something and players are leaving for more money.
“You can’t get too down about it because it’s the situation we find ourselves in.
“It does look like a major turnover but we’ve been really busy already and we’re only a couple of bodies away from where we want to be.
“It’s all shaping up quite nicely and we’ll definitely be in a good position for the start of next season.
“We’ve just got to get a good team spirit among the squad we have next season, push on and go as far as we can.”
Davey will reveal the first set of new faces next week.
He also confirmed that Matt Challinor and Tom Davies have extended their stays with the club, joining Chris Hallam, Tom Luke, Dougie Flockhart, Michael Keating and Tomas Francis in penning new deals.
Departing the Knights are: Lee Audis, Steve Boden, Alex Brown, Stuart Corsar, Zack Farivarz, Royce Burke-Flynn, PJ Gidlow, Oli Goss, David McIlwaine, Michael Noone, Ben Toft, Mike Whitehead, Jack Yeandle, Michael Bateman, Michael Heaney, Gareth Quinn-McDonogh, Toby Berridge, Latu Makaafi and Fred Burdon.