Newcastle Knights coach Adam O’Brien has named a strong squad for this weekend’s NRL trial against defending premiers Melbourne Storm in Albury.
The game, which will be live-streamed on www.newcastleknights.com.au, is the only hit-out for either of the participating clubs.
The showdown, on Saturday 27 February, will feature plenty of big names, too, with O’Brien opting to field the likes of Daniel Saifiti and David Klemmer for the clash with the 2020 champions.
Knights’ fans also get their first look at Tyson Frizell in a red and blue jumper, while Mitchell Pearce is back early from a hand injury to start in the No.7 jumper.
Pearce will be joined in returning to the park by the likes of Connor Watson and Jayden Brailey, with the latter playing his maiden match since completing his recovery from a serious knee injury in March.
Young guns Dom Young, Simi Sasagi and Brayden Musgrove have an opportunity to press their claims for a starting spot in round one after being selected on the extended bench.
Storm mentor Craig Bellamy, meanwhile, is expected to unleash his trump cards, such as Ryan Papenhuyzen, Josh Addo-Carr, Cameron Munster, Jesse Bromwich, Brandon Smith, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Dale Finucane and the much-hyped Harry Grant.
The NSW Cup encounter kicks off proceedings at the Albury Sports Ground at 2.15pm, with the main fixture starting from 4.45pm.
Newcastle Knights: 1 Tex Hoy, 2. Starford To’a, 3. Enari Tuala, 4. Bradman Best, 5. Gehamat Shibasaki, 6. Phoenix Crossland, 7. Mitchell Pearce, 8. Daniel Saifiti, 9. Jayden Brailey, 10. David Klemmer, 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Mitch Barnett, 13. Connor Watson; interchange: 14. Chris Randall, 15. Jacob Saifiti, 16. Sauaso Sue, 17. Josh King, 18. Simi Sasagi, 19. Brodie Jones, 20. Mat Croker, 21. Brayden Musgrove, 22. Pasami Saulo, 23. Dominic Young
Melbourne Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen, 2. Dean Ieremia, 3. Reimis Smith, 4. Justin Olam, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Jahrome Hughes, 8. Jesse Bromwich (c), 9. Harry Grant, 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Kenny Bromwich, 13. Dale Finucane (c); interchange: 14. Brandon Smith, 15. Christian Welch, 16. Tui Kamikamica, 17. Tom Eisenhuth