The nib Newcastle Knights face the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday evening.
Confirming a place in the finals with a dominant 38-10 victory over the Sharks last Friday, Tex Hoy, Edrick Lee, Daniel Saifiti and Sione Mata'utia are all in line to return after being named in the 21-man squad.
Meanwhile, the Roosters have ruled out Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.
Isaac Liu shifts to prop as cover, while Angus Crichton shifts from the bench to lock.
Mitchell Aubusson is set to make his return to the side after being promoted to the interchange bench.
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Date: Saturday, September 12
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground
FOLLOW THE ACTION
If you can't catch the game on TV or radio, the Knights will be blogging the game at newcastleknights.com.au.
Joey's Rd17 Review: 'One of the great performances in our Club's history'
1. Tex Hoy, 2. Edrick Lee, 3. Enari Tuala, 4. Gehamat Shibasaki, 5. Starford To’a, 6. Mason Lino, 7. Mitchell Pearce, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Kurt Mann, 10. Jacob Saifiti, 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12. Aidan Guerra, 13. Herman Ese’ese. Interchange: 18. Sione Mata'utia,15. Daniel Saifiti, 16. Josh King, 21. Chris Randall, 19. Pasami Saulo, 20. Tautau Moga
1. James Tedesco, 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Josh Morris, 4. Joseph Manu, 5. Brett Morris, 6. Luke Keary, 7. Kyle Flanagan, 13. Isaac Liu, 9. Jake Friend, 10. Siosuia Taukeiaho, 11. Boyd Cordner, 12. Sitili Tupouniua, 16. Angus Crichton. Interchange: 14. Nat Butcher, 15. Lindsay Collins, 17. Sonny Bill Williams, 19. Mitchell Aubusson.
BIG GAME ENERGY
Three weeks out from their first finals appearance in seven years, the Knights will be looking to press their top eight credentials against the reigning premiers.
AOB: Pride, resting troops and Robbo respect
Coming into the clash with four wins from their past five outings, the sixth-placed Knights have stood up in top eight clashes this season with three wins and a draw - including impressive showings against Penrith (14-14) and Canberra (34-18).
Managing just two wins against the Roosters during Trent Robinson’s tenure as coach, Newcastle mentor Adam O’Brien will have the side primed for a physical encounter set to go down to the wire.
Enjoying highly successful careers with the Roosters before joining the Knights two years ago, Mitchell Pearce and Aidan Guerra will have a point to prove against their former teammates.
Watch: The Rd17 defensive moments that mattered
Playing 238 matches with the Roosters after debuting in first grade as a 17-year-old back in 2007, Pearce has been one of the side’s top performers this season with eight try-assists, nine forced drop outs and the fifth most kicking metres in the league.
Making 154 appearances for the Tricolours after coming into the top grade in 2010, Guerra has given great service in every game this season with 30 tackles and 77 metres on average.
Set to play at one of the most iconic sporting venues in the world, the Knights will be hoping for an improved showing in their second appearance at the Sydney Cricket Ground
Trailing 12-10 midway through the second half when the two teams met in Round 18 last season, the Knights were unable to match the Roosters’ lift in intensity - conceding six tries in the final 25 minutes to go down 48-10.
With the Roosters winning 12 out of 15 matches at the historic venue since taking up residency at the start of 2019, the Knights will need to produce an 80-minute performance in order to upset the premiership heavyweights.
Sights & Sounds: Behind the scenes view of Sharks win
KNIGHTS STAT ATTACK
Mason Lino has a goal-kicking success rate of 82 per cent in the NRL.
The Knights have won four of their five night matches this season.
ROOSTERS STAT ATTACK
Clive Churchill medallist Luke Keary will play his 150th NRL match.
Mitchell Aubusson will equal Anthony Minichiello as the most-capped Sydney Roosters player if selected in the final 17.
The Roosters have the best attack in the league with an average of 27.5 points per game.