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In a daily series analysing who will line up in each position for all 16 teams in the opening round of the Telstra Premiership in 2020, looks at the Newcastle Knights. says: There are plenty of permutations for new coach Adam O'Brien to tinker with here, including where to play versatile duo Connor Watson and Kurt Mann.

Mason Lino and young gun Phoenix Crossland are also in contention to partner Mitch Pearce in the halves but Mann looks to be the frontrunner to start the season at five-eighth with Watson potentially switching to lock.

Kiwi Test hooker Danny Levi could miss the 17 altogether following the recruitment of Sharks dummy-half Jayden Brailey.

Sione Mata'utia could play centre but with rising stars like Bradman Best and Starford To'a ready for spots in the backs, that may not be necessary.

There is a centre logjam between Best, Hymel Hunt, Tautau Moga and Gehamat Shibasaki with either Hunt or Best likely to start the season on the wing.

Jamie Soward says: I think it's time for Phoenix Crossland to get a chance at 6. Connor Watson is the ultimate utility on the bench – he's the best utility in the game at the moment with his running game and all-round skills. Bradman Best and Gehamat Shibasaki are the centres with Hymel Hunt and Edrick Lee on the wings.'s predicted Knights round 1 team

  1. Kalyn Ponga
  2. Edrick Lee
  3. Hymel Hunt
  4. Tautau Moga
  5. Bradman Best
  6. Kurt Mann
  7. Mitchell Pearce
  8. David Klemmer
  9. Jayden Brailey
  10. Daniel Saifiti
  11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon
  12. Mitchell Barnett
  13. Connor Watson
  14. Tim Glasby
  15. Sione Mata'utia
  16. Herman Ese'ese
  17. Aidan Guerra

Others: Joshua King, Beau Fermor, Brodie Jones, Danny Levi, Mason Lino, Phoenix Crossland, Jacob Saifiti, Pasami Saulo, Gehamat Shibasaki, Star To'a, Enari Tuala