Saturday’s trial match at Newcastle No. 2 Sportsground will be the perfect induction for players donning the red and blue for the first time according to Nathan Ross.
The Newcastle Knights' NSW Cup trial against Wentworthville marks the Club’s first 80-minute trial and features two squads with a number of players who’ll experience their maiden match with the Club.
It’s a venue that holds fond memories for the energetic outside back who has played at the ground as a member of the NSW Cup Knights' squad over a number of seasons.
“No. 2 Sportsground has been a fortress for the Newcastle Knights,” Ross said on Friday after the team’s final training session.
“For reserve grade, I’ve been a part of some good wins there.
“It will be a good place for people who are new to the jersey to find how much pride we do wear, even though we’re not playing at Hunter Stadium.
“We’re going to go out and put a good performance on.”
The match will not only offer an opportunity for players to test new structures, but also allows emerging local players a forum to impress.
“For a half with the NRL boys, it’s going to be good to give our legs a blow out and to play some thirteen on thirteen,” he explained.
“We have some young blood and some experience and some old war horses like Mickey Paea so think it’s going to be a day for the Knights.”
Ross, who made his NRL debut last season, tips new recruit Will Pearsall as well as Knights junior Lachlan Fitzgibbon to perform strongly in their first match of the season.
The 2016 trial period heralds the official end to pre-season training, which has been a long awaited moment for Ross and his teammates.
“It’s buzzing around here and fantastic. It’s great to know pre-season is done and dusted,” he said as he reflected on grueling training days in the summer’s heat.
“It’s good it’s done now and we actually get to play some footy.”
Saturday February 13 – Trial match
Newcastle Knights v Parramatta / Wentworthville
Venue: Newcastle Sportsground No.2
Entry is free