The nib Newcastle Knights NRL side will kick off their 2022 campaign with a massive season-opener against arch-rivals, the Sydney Roosters.
The iconic Sydney Cricket Ground will play host to the opening round fixture this Saturday afternoon.
In a history-making occasion, the NRLW team will also play a curtain-raiser before the men's game in a first double-header for the Club.
After a strong pre-season, excitement levels are high to kick off what is set to be another memorable campaign.
This is your Ultimate Guide to the Newcastle Knights Round 1 clash against the Sydney Roosters.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS v nib NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Date: Saturday, March 12, 2022
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground
Frizell: Round 1 excitement and starting strong
Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James TedescoFullback for Knights is number 1 Kalyn Ponga
Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel TupouWinger for Knights is number 2 Dominic Young
Centre for Roosters is number 3 Billy SmithCentre for Knights is number 3 Dane Gagai
Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph ManuCentre for Knights is number 4 Bradman Best
Winger for Roosters is number 5 Paul MomirovskiWinger for Knights is number 5 Enari Tuala
Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Sam WalkerFive-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Jake Clifford
Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Luke KearyHalfback for Knights is number 7 Adam Clune
Prop for Roosters is number 10 Lindsay CollinsProp for Knights is number 8 David Klemmer
Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Connor WatsonHooker for Knights is number 9 Chris Randall
Prop for Roosters is number 15 Fletcher BakerProp for Knights is number 10 Jacob Saifiti
2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Tyson Frizell
2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Sitili Tupouniua2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Lachlan Fitzgibbon
Lock for Roosters is number 13 Victor RadleyLock for Knights is number 13 Kurt Mann
Interchange for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-HargreavesInterchange for Knights is number 14 Phoenix Crossland
Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Drew HutchisonInterchange for Knights is number 15 Mitchell Barnett
Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Nat ButcherInterchange for Knights is number 16 Leo Thompson
Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Siosiua TaukeiahoInterchange for Knights is number 17 Jirah Momoisea
Replacement for Roosters is number 18 Kevin NaiqamaReplacement for Knights is number 22 Mat Croker
- Referee: Gerard Sutton
- Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
- Touch Judge: Jon Stone
- Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall
UPDATE: Both sides remained 1-17 as named on Tuesday.
The Knights squad was reduced to 19 with Mat Croker and Tex Hoy remaining on the extended bench.
For the Roosters, Kevin Naiqama and Daniel Suluka-Fifita retained as 18th and 19th man respectively.
EARLIER: Knights NRL Head Coach, Adam O'Brien, named a 24-man squad on Tuesday for the Round 1 clash.
New signing Leo Thompson will make his NRL debut against the Roosters while Adam Clune will make his Club debut at halfback.
Dane Gagai will make his long-awaited return to Knights colours and has been named in the centres.
Daniel Saifiti was a notable omission with the forward suffering a small fracture in his left tibia in the trial against the Bulldogs.
Kurt Mann, in his 150th game, will line-up on lock-forward in a new role for the utility.
For the Roosters, Luke Keary and Lindsay Collins return from long-term injuries.
Former Knight, Connor Watson, lines up in the No.9 role.
Mann: Anticipation ahead of 150th game and positional switch
Heading into Round 1, the Knights had a draw with the Bulldogs and a loss to the Storm in the trials, however took plenty of positives from the games.
The Roosters went down to the Raiders and Tigers in their trials.
The Knights finished the 2021 season in seventh spot and were knocked out in the Elimination Final to the Parramatta Eels.
The Roosters finished in fifth spot and progressed to week two of the finals.
The Roosters have won the last four matches against Newcastle.
Kalyn Ponga v James Tedesco: In Round 1, it's the battle of the No.1's and what a match-up it will be.
Named as Team Captain, Ponga is set for a huge 2022 season spearheading the attack.
In 15 games last year, Ponga had a team-high try-assists tally of 14 and notched eight tries of his own.
Tedesco brings a strong running game to the table having ran for over 4,000 metres for the fourth straight season last year.
Two of the game's premier fullbacks will have a huge say in the result on Saturday.
Recovery Report: Saifiti and Jones updates
The Knights will be out to break a 13-year drought having gone without a victory against the Roosters in Sydney since 2009.
Newcastle have a strong opening record having won their last four Round 1 games.
Reigning Danny Buderus Medal winner, Jacob Saifiti, will look for another impressive game against the Roosters having scored a try and ran for 144 metres in the most recent game against Sydney.
Kurt Mann will run out for his 150th game in the NRL after eight seasons in the NRL.
The Roosters hold a solid home record having won the last four out of five games at the SCG.