After a strong opening to the season, the nib Newcastle Knights head back home for a Sunday afternoon special in Round 2.
In a homecoming for the side, the Knights will tackle the Wests Tigers at McDonald Jones Stadium in the first game back in front of the Hunter supporters since July, 2021.
The match will form part of an historic triple-header alongside the NRLW side, while the two teams will play for the Allan McMahon Shield.
The Newcastle Knights will also donate $5 to the Red Cross Flood Appeal for every person who attends McDonald Jones Stadium for Sunday’s homecoming clash, joining the NRL in a show of support for the people of NSW and Queensland impacted by the recent natural disaster.
This is your Ultimate Guide to the Newcastle Knights Round 2 fixture against the Wests Tigers.
nib NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v WESTS TIGERS
Date: Sunday, March 20, 2022
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
Fullback for Knights is number 20 Tex HoyFullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Daine Laurie
Winger for Knights is number 2 Dominic YoungWinger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
Centre for Knights is number 3 Dane GagaiCentre for Wests Tigers is number 3 James Roberts
Centre for Knights is number 4 Bradman BestCentre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Oliver Gildart
Winger for Knights is number 5 Enari TualaWinger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Ken Maumalo
Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Jake CliffordFive-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Jackson Hastings
Halfback for Knights is number 7 Adam CluneHalfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks
Prop for Knights is number 10 Jacob SaifitiProp for Wests Tigers is number 10 Stefano Utoikamanu
Hooker for Knights is number 9 Chris RandallHooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jake Simpkin
Prop for Knights is number 15 Mitchell BarnettProp for Wests Tigers is number 15 Alex Twal
2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Tyson Frizell2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Kelma Tuilagi
2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Lachlan Fitzgibbon2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua
Lock for Knights is number 13 Kurt MannLock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Joe Ofahengaue
Interchange for Knights is number 14 Phoenix CrosslandInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Tyrone Peachey
Interchange for Knights is number 16 Leo ThompsonInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Zane Musgrove
Interchange for Knights is number 17 Jirah MomoiseaInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Alex Seyfarth
Interchange for Knights is number 18 Mat CrokerInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 18 Thomas Mikaele
Replacement for Knights is number 21 Simi SasagiReplacement for Wests Tigers is number 19 Luke Garner
- Referee: Ben Cummins
- Touch Judge: Darian Furner
- Touch Judge: Chris Sutton
- Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein
UPDATE: Fullback and Team Captain, Kalyn Ponga, has been ruled out of the match with a knee injury.
After suffering a knock against the Roosters, Ponga couldn't reach match fitness ahead of Sunday's Allan McMahon Shield fixture.
Local junior, Tex Hoy, comes in at fullback having played 17 games in the No.1 position across the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
Pasami Saulo, Dylan Lucas, Brayden Musgrove and Daniel Saifiti come off the extended bench with Mat Croker named as 18th man.
For the Tigers, co-captain James Tamou was ruled out with Alex Twal moving in to the front row and Thomas Mikaele joining the bench.
TEAM LIST TUESDAY: nib Newcastle Knights NRL Head Coach, Adam O'Brien, named his 24-man squad for this Sunday's clash.
The team is unchanged from the side that defeated the Sydney Roosters in Round 1.
Jake Clifford and Adam Clune will partner up in the halves.
After an impressive debut, Leo Thompson retains his spot on the bench and Jacob Saifiti starts in the front-row in his 100th NRL game.
PLAYING FOR SILVERWARE
On Sunday, the two Clubs will continue their annual tradition of playing for the Allan McMahon Shield.
McMahon had a strong affiliation with both clubs having played 110 first grade game at the Balmain Tigers between 1975 and 1981.
A fullback or centre during his playing days, McMahon represented Australia on five occasions.
At the tender age of 31, McMahon was announced as the first Head Coach of the Newcastle Knights and was a pioneer for the Club in its early introduction to the league.
The Tigers currently hold the Shield which is contested in the first fixture between the two sides each season.
The Knights secured their fifth straight Round 1 win with the dominant victory over the Roosters last Saturday.
Newcastle scored four tries to the Chooks one to open their account for the season.
In a show of faith, Adam O'Brien has named the same team to tackle the Tigers this round.
In Round 1, the Tigers fought bravely against reigning minor premiers, the Melbourne Storm, but succumb to a 26-16 loss.
The Tigers have won the last two games against Newcastle within the 2021 season.
Dane Gagai v James Roberts: Two of the game's most dynamic centres will do battle on Sunday.
On his return game for the red and blue, Gagai had a superb outing with a try, try-assist and ran for 200 metres against the Roosters.
The experienced centre linked up with Dom Young to cause all sorts of havoc down the right edge.
On the other side, Roberts has speed to burn and the Knights defence will need to be on guard.
The former NSW Origin representative has scored 77 tries in 161 first-grade games.
Tyson Frizell has scored in consecutive games against the Tigers, scoring a try in each fixture against Wests last season.
The Tigers have won the last four out of five matches against the Knights in Newcastle.
Newcastle will look to make it three in a row in Round 2 fixtures having started the season with two wins from two in 2020 and 2021.
Enari Tuala has scored a try in seven of his last eight fixtures posting 12 tries in that time.