The Newcastle Knights are set to face the Manly Sea Eagles on Monday night without Beau Scott and Joey Leilua, coach Wayne Bennett confirmed after training on Sunday at Wests Mayfield.
Scott suffered an abdominal injury in the warm up for Country’s game against City two weeks ago while Leilua has a low-grade hamstring strain, which he did at training on Friday.
"Beau tore a stomach muscle and played last week with it, in his best interests we decided not to play him," Bennett said.
“Chris Houston comes in for Beau, James McManus goes into the centres and Jake Mamo comes in.
“We are confident, we have capable players, we just need to play like we did against the Bulldogs and we will be fine.”
The coach also insisted the team are getting on with the job as they prepare for Monday night’s game at Brookvale Oval, despite the current ownership dispute.
“The guys are getting on with it,” he admitted.
“They know their position and as long as they’re getting information, that’s the main thing.
“We met on Friday, everyone is fine and there is no problem, everyone is getting on with their job and we are confident it will get paid.
“Most of them have been paid, one or two haven’t.
“I mentioned it this morning to them, reiterated a couple of things and made sure everything was okay.
While not across the details of the current negotiations between the Hunter Sports Group, the NRL and the Members Club, the coach hopes a resolution isn’t far away.
“They are close to it now, it has been going on for a month or so now, but none of us are privy to it,” Bennett added.
“Matt (Gidley) is not, Paul (Harragon) is not, I am not privy to what is going on there, we are probably just as much in the dark as everyone else is.
“I think in the next week, there should be some form of decision made and we all know where we stand.”
The Knights travelled to Sydney on Sunday afternoon as they finalise preparations for round ten against Manly.