A hamstring issue will see new recruit Hymel Hunt out of action this weekend.

He’s been ruled out for the Newcastle Knights’ clash against the St George Illawarra Dragons in their first of two pre-season trial matches.

Hunt copped a bump at training this week, and as a result has suffered a hamstring problem.

Knights coach Nathan Brown confirmed he’ll miss this week, with hopes he’ll be back on the paddock for the Maitland trial.

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“He’s been training really well but unfortunately has had a bit of a setback,” said Brown.

“Not sure whether he will just miss this week and be right for next week, I’m not sure.”

With Tau Tau Moga still sidelined with injury, and Hunt now being benched, the left centre spot is up for grabs on Saturday.

Jesse Ramien, Sione Mata’utia, Edrick Lee and Nathan Ross are all contenders for the spot. 

But being a trial, Brown admits he’ll test a variety of combinations.

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It’s a chance for players to stake their claim before Round 1 kick-off.

“There’s certainly a few spots up for grabs, we’ve got a reasonable idea but there’s certainly a few we’re not nailed down on,” Brown said.

“We’ve got far more depth this year.”

Brown adamant it’ll be a waiting game to see whether Hunt will get to take the field with his new teammates in Maitland.

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“He’ll only play next week if he is 100 per cent fit; we’ll have to wait and see,” Brown explained.

“Hunt has been putting a good foot forward and giving himself a good chance at the centre spot.

“Hopefully it’s only a minor bump and he can play next week.”