You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Ultimate Guide: Squads updated ahead of kick-off

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.


Date: Saturday, March 12, 2022

Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground

Frizell: Round 1 excitement and starting strong


Since: 1988

Played: 58

Roosters: 36

Knights: 20

Draws: 2


Team Lists


  • Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
    Fullback for Knights is number 1 Kalyn Ponga
  • Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
    Winger for Knights is number 2 Dominic Young
  • Centre for Roosters is number 3 Billy Smith
    Centre for Knights is number 3 Dane Gagai
  • Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
    Centre for Knights is number 4 Bradman Best
  • Winger for Roosters is number 5 Paul Momirovski
    Winger for Knights is number 5 Enari Tuala
  • Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Sam Walker
    Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Jake Clifford
  • Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Luke Keary
    Halfback for Knights is number 7 Adam Clune


  • Prop for Roosters is number 10 Lindsay Collins
    Prop for Knights is number 8 David Klemmer
  • Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Connor Watson
    Hooker for Knights is number 9 Chris Randall
  • Prop for Roosters is number 15 Fletcher Baker
    Prop for Knights is number 10 Jacob Saifiti
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton
    2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Tyson Frizell
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Sitili Tupouniua
    2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Lachlan Fitzgibbon
  • Lock for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley
    Lock for Knights is number 13 Kurt Mann


  • Interchange for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
    Interchange for Knights is number 14 Phoenix Crossland
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Drew Hutchison
    Interchange for Knights is number 15 Mitchell Barnett
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Nat Butcher
    Interchange for Knights is number 16 Leo Thompson
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Siosiua Taukeiaho
    Interchange for Knights is number 17 Jirah Momoisea


  • Replacement for Roosters is number 18 Kevin Naiqama
    Replacement for Knights is number 22 Mat Croker

Match Officials

  • Referee: Gerard Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Touch Judge: Jon Stone
  • Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall

Last updated:


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.