They’ll line-up on opposite sides of the field at Hunter Stadium tonight, but Tyrone Roberts and Adrian Davis share a bond no rivalry can break.
As second cousins and long-time friends, Roberts and Davis are like brothers.
In fact, that’s what the pair consider themselves as after spending years together at the Kirinari Aboriginal hostel at Garden Suburb when they first moved to Newcastle from the NSW north coast as teens.
It why’s they'll have mixed emotions when they oppose each other as respective captains of the Newcastle Knights and First Nations Goannas.
"I’m sure when we go out on the field, it’s going to be very emotional for both of us," Roberts says ahead of the Knights' first trial of the season against the Goannas.
"But I’m looking forward to it.
"We are more than mates, we are more like brothers.
"Once we get out on that field, we’ll put that aside, but we’ll enjoy each others company after the game.
"Because I’ve known Adrian for a long time.
"We lived together in the hostel for about four or five years and we did everything together.
"He has now moved up to Queensland, but it’s great to see him come back to Newcastle so I can play against him again.
"Adrian is very competitive and non-stop with everything that he does in life and I'm very proud of him."
Davis is equally proud of Roberts and can't wait to take on his best buddy in tonight's match.
He is also looking forward to playing against some of his former NSW Cup teammates at the Knights, who he left behind at the end of last season to take up a one-year contract with the Redcliffe Dolphins in the Intrust Super Cup.
"I had a good time at the Knights when I was there,'' Davis says about his lower grade stint at Newcastle.
"So it will be good to play against the boys, especially Tyrone.
"He is doing really well for himself with his footy and also off the field he is becoming a good young man and role model for all indigenous kids in Newcastle and back home in his community.
"It's why I'm excited to play against him.
"This game is also an opportunity for myself and hopefully I can get something out of it and get a chance to go to another NRL club and beat Tyrone.
“But if not, then I’m just going to take it all in and enjoy the moment.”
Because regardless of tonight's result, Davis and Roberts will always see themselves as brothers.
The Knights take on the First Nations Goannas at Hunter Stadium on Saturday. Gates open at 3pm, at 3.15pm NSW Indigenous Women take on QLD Indigenous Women and at 4.50pm NSW Indigenous U16 Boys play against QLD Indigenous U16 Boys. The Knights v Goannas match kicks off at 7pm. A reminder Troy Cassar-Daley is performing prior to the main match. Tickets available through Ticketmaster or at the gate. We hope to see you at Hunter Stadium this afternoon!