Jack Stockwell is poised to take on his former club, the St George Illawarra Dragons in a blockbuster Easter Saturday night match at Hunter Stadium.
The Newcastle Knights’ new recruit joined the Club at the beginning of pre-season after starting his first grade career with the Dragons in 2012.
Excited to now be a part of the red and blue, the 23-year-old has a good bearing on what to expect from the opposition.
“The Saints is an unpredictable side and we’ve seen that in the first four rounds,” he said after the Knights final training run at Hunter Stadium on Good Friday.
“You don’t know what they are going to do or what they will throw at us…with Gareth (Widdop) and Benji (Marshall) they will have us on our toes."
Stockwell says the Dragons’ sizable forward pack is also something to be prepared for during the home match.
“They’ve got a good side and they showed that against the Manly pack,” he said.
“They have a few big fellas there and have been playing good footy, so we’ll be looking to get it over those blokes in the beginning of the game."
The Round 5 match will be the first time the young forward will come up against his former teammates.
“I have a few mates back there, so it will be good coming up against those blokes and putting it to them,” he said.
“I’ve got no bad blood with them. I’m at Newcastle now, so I’ll be going out there to play my style of footy and what I’ve been doing the first four weeks and that’s what I’m going to do.
“I’m just happy to be playing footy and to be in the side."
After four wins and returning to Hunter Stadium, Stockwell is confident the Knights will simulate their early success.
“We are coming off a couple of good wins and are just looking at staying consistent, that’s the biggest key for us,” he said.
“This week is a new challenge and we are just preparing the best way we can and play a hard style of footy.
“It’s a home game so we are looking forward to showing the fans what we’ve got.
“We’re looking at playing our style of footy and that’s hard footy.
“We’ve been doing well so far so (Rick) Stoney has named an unchanged team and I’m happy to be a part of it."
Stockwell says he’s adapted to his new club well and is proud of his work rate and the way he’s played for his teammates since taking the field for the Knights.
“That’s something the whole team is buying into and that’s coming off the back of our pre-season,” he said.
“We’ve been focusing on that and working for each other.
“The boys have been playing well and playing good footy.
“Kade (Snowden) has been leading from the front and Korbin (Sims) the first couple of weeks was up there as well.
“Jeremy Smith, Beau Scott and Tariq Sims in the back row is a good, hard pack and I love playing with them.
“It’s good getting Tariq back, he’s been ripping in pre-season. It’s been good watching him and it’ll be good playing alongside him.”
Game day information
Saturday April 4 – Round 5 Alex McKinnon Cup
Newcastle Knights v St George Illawarra Dragons
Gates open: 5pm
Venue: Hunter Stadium