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Lee injury presents back-line opportunity

With Edrick Lee sidelined due to injury, an opportunity has opened up ahead of Sunday’s Round 9 blockbuster with Parramatta.

nib Newcastle Knights Coach Adam O’Brien will make a call on who comes into the side when his names his team on Tuesday but he has no shortage of options.

Lee injured his arm in the opening minutes of Sunday’s gritty 14-12 win over Manly, with Tex Hoy filling the void for the remainder of the match until Kalyn Ponga left the field for a HIA.

Hoy: Playing wing, defensive mindset and utility value

Hoy is one contender for the wing spot, although Tautau Moga, Starford To’a, Gehamat Shibasaki and Tyronne Roberts-Davis could also come into contention.

When asked if Lee had fractured his arm, O’Brien said; “I’m pretty sure that’s the case with Edrick without having it completely confirmed. I think it is a broken arm, so someone gets an opportunity (against Parramatta) for Edrick.

“Sione, I haven’t had a chance to check but I’m pretty sure both him and Kalyn passed HIA’s.

AOB: Injury update, grit and Pearce performance

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“It’s a banged-up dressing room but we will patch them up.”

Left with one player on the bench for the final 11 minutes of the game, the Knights showed a mental toughness the supporters can be proud of.

“Real gutsy, we spoke about all week,” he said.

“There’s some things we can be better on, certainly but I didn’t care how we won, I just wanted us to be gusty.

“I actually didn’t even care if we won, I wanted us to be back to the gritty, tough, resilient team we set out to be at the start of the year and I thought we got that.

“Losing Edrick in the first five minutes and then lose Sione to a HIA and our interchange became four at halftime.

“We had guys like Jacob Saifiti play some huge minutes in the middle.”