It’s finally here… the start of the NRL season.

In three days’ time the nib Newcastle Knights will run on before a roaring crowd at McDonald Jones Stadium to face the Cronulla Sharks for Round 1.

Head Coach Nathan Brown has named his 21-man squad, which will be cut to 19, 24 hours prior to Friday’s match and again to 17 an hour before kick-off.

Brown has named seven new faces for the season opener. 

David Klemmer and James Gavet will lead the charge in the engine room, while former Sharks Jesse Ramien and Edrick Lee face off against their former side. 

Shaun Kenny Dowall is back in the No.5 after missing the final trial match with an ankle injury and Hymel Hunt will make his first appearance in the red and blue after overcoming a hamstring injury. 

The addition of Hunt sees Sione Mata'utia move to the backrow, with Mitch Barnett on the bench.

NRL TEAM

1. Connor Watson - O'Bryan Electrical & Solar

2. Edrick Lee - Wellman Strata

3. Jesse Ramien - Newcastle Financial Planning Group

4. Hymel Hunt - BSC 

5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall - Triple M

6. Kalyn Ponga - Redicrete

7. Mitchell Pearce - Brydens Lawyers

8. David Klemmer - Jennings Print

9. Danny Levi - Newcastle Financial Planning Group

10. James Gavet - O'Bryan Electrical & Solar

11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon - Port Hunter Conveyors

12. Sione Mata'utia - NBN

13. Tim Glasby - Mine Super

Interchange:

14. Kurt Mann - Triple M

15. Aidan Guerra - Kelly Trotter Motor Group

16. Mitch Barnett - NBN

17. Daniel Saifiti - Port Hunter Conveyors

18. Jamie Buhrer

19. Herman Ese'ese

20. Josh King

21. Brodie Jones 

DETAILS

Friday, 15th March 2019 at McDonald Jones Stadium

Gates open at 3.30pm

Canterbury Cup Newcastle Knights kick-off at 3.45pm 

NRL Newcastle Knights v Cronulla Sharks at 6pm

Broadcast live on Fox League (Ch 502)