Knights Chairman Paul Harragon, Danny Buderus and Tony Butterfield make up a very formidable front row in the World Class Knights team, unveiled on Saturday in the lead up to Sunday’s Voice for Mining Family Day at Hunter Stadium.
This greatest ever Knights team also includes origin star and now Hunter Valley coal miner Steve Simpson, along with one of the toughest players ever to wear the red and blue, Ben Kennedy.
Showing the depth and talent in the club over many years, four current players, Jarrod Mullen, Timana Tahu, Akuila Uate and club captain Kurt Gidley have also been selected.
More than 500 Knights fans have taken part in a competition to match an expert panel in selecting the best blue and red dream team (or in this case high-vis orange and blue) through our team selector game at worldclassminers.com.au.
The selection panel was made up of Knights Board member and former player Stephen Crowe, former Knights Chairman Michael Hill and former Sydney Morning Herald Editor and Novocastrian Sam North. They agonised over some positions and had to make some very tough decisions.
“I feel very privileged to have been picked as part of the World Class Knights team, especially considering the calibre of the players we’ve had at this club," Marc Glanville said, who was selected at lock.
"There is so much great history at the Knights and so much we can be proud of.
“So many of our players, both past and present, have a strong connection to mining here in the Hunter.
"I’m looking forward to a great day of footy and recognising our club legends and our miners.”
NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said Voice for Mining Family Day will be an exciting event for the Hunter community, especially the 15,000 mine workers and their families who live in the Hunter and love their footy.
“This is an opportunity for fans to stand up in support of two great teams - the Knights and our miners,” he said.
“We all love wearing our team colours and that’s why more than 5,000 miners and their families and supporters of mining are expected to turn out in orange and high-vis workwear.
“Knights fans can also pick up a free high-vis vest at the ground to wear during the game to show their support for local mining families and the Knights.”
The full World Class Knights team as selected by the expert panel is:
1. Robbie O'Davis
2. Adam MacDougall
3. Matt Gidley
4. Timana Tahu
5. Akuila Uate
6. Jarrod Mullen
7. Andrew Johns
8. Paul Harragon (c)
9. Danny Buderus
10. Tony Butterfield
11. Steve Simpson
12. Ben Kennedy
13. Marc Glanville
14. Mark Sargent
15. Adam Muir
16. Matthew Johns
17. Kurt Gidley
The winner that matched or matched most closely the final team will win a ‘money can’t buy’ experience, travelling with the NRL squad to Sydney, staying in the team hotel and watching an NRL game from the coach’s box. The competition winner will be notified by email.