It’ll be the first time forward Josh Starling will get to play an NRL match at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday.
The nib Newcastle Knights take on the Gold Coast Titans at home for Round 2, welcoming back 17 of the most capped players including Danny Buderus and Andrew Johns.
Starling said he’s looking forward to going back to where he used to play as a kid.
“It’s the only ground I’ve never played first grade at, so I’m really excited…. I used to play there as a country representative and I haven’t been there for a long time,” he said.
Named at starting prop, Starling will again combine with the Saifiti twins.
“They’re two really big men, raw 20-year-olds, so I’m really forward to seeing those guys develop,” he explained.
The experienced forward believes the Knights need to work on their defence against the Titans, who will also be looking for their first win of the season after a 14-point loss to the Sydney Roosters in round one.
“We need to learn not to turn the ball over and if we do, know that we’re going to defend it and not give up tries so easily,” Starling said.
“We need to complete at 85 percent to win matches.”
Starling knows the Titans are coming to town with a quality forward pack.
“They’ve got some very good players and Ryan James is their leader in the forwards, so we have a massive job on him,” he said.
“They’ve had a few injuries, they’ve lost (Nathan) Peats, who’s probably their most aggressive player, but they’re going to have a lot of guys that are willing to take his role.”
All three grades will be in action at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday, gates open at 10.30am with NRL kicking off is at 3pm.