nib Newcastle Knights NRL Head Coach, Adam O'Brien, has named his 24-man squad for our clash with Manly at McDonald Jones Stadium on Thursday night.
After two games on the road, the Knights will return home to play their 4th game in 19 days.
The red and blue faithful are expected to turn out in big numbers again after a crowd of 23,214 enjoyed an awesome day at our last home game in Round 2.
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This huge crowd not only lifted the Knights but it’s also helped raise $116,070 for the Red Cross Flood Appeal via a $5 per head donation by the Newcastle Knights for those affected by the devasting floods.
Adding to the great rivalry between the two clubs, the teams will play for the Malcolm Reilly Trophy, which pays tribute to the Knights first premiership-winning Coach, when they clash for the first time each year.
Malcolm came to Australia in 1972 to play for Manly, winning back-to-back premierships and quickly establishing a highly regarded reputation as a fierce no-nonsense competitor, who loved to fight for every inch.
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Reilly carried the same approach to his coaching, winning his first 9 games as Newcastle Knights Head Coach in 1995, taking his team from 10th place to a preliminary final. Two years later he delivered the town their first premiership in 1997 with their 22-16 win over Manly in the grand final, taking his prestigious place in the club’s history.
Knights GM Football Danny Buderus recalls Malcolm's impact when he arrived in Newcastle and what this trophy means to the club.
“Malcolm gained immediate respect from everyone at the club and in the community, said Buderus."
“He reset our club by establishing a new set of standards and expectations, all driven by his will to win attitude."
“He was tough, determined and always presented ready for battle, including his own physical presence. Mal was always super fit, which inspired everyone to work hard."
“This trophy means so much to this club, each year we play for three pieces of silverware named in honour of club legends and I know the coach wants all of them in our possession again."
“We have the Allan McMahon Shield, we want to retain this Trophy and win back the Alex Mckinnon Cup when we play St George Illawarra Dragons next week."
Adding to the celebrations, Enari Tuala will notch up 50 games for the Newcastle Knights. The speedy, try-scoring winger joined the Knights in 2020 from the Cowboys with 18 NRL games under his belt.
Since then, Tuala has been 'Mr. Consistent' playing almost every game, including 25 straight last year, with a phenomenal try scoring strike rate of 26 tries from 49 NRL appearances.
Gates open at 5:15pm with Jersey Flegg kicking off at 5:30pm, followed by the main game at 7:50pm.
Our 50/50 charity partner for this week game is Variety for Children’s Charity with proceeds helping kids who are sick, disadvantaged, or living with a disability.
See the team below:
1. Kalyn Ponga (C) - Hunter Imaging
2. Dominic Young - Wests Group
3. Dane Gagai - Allara Learning
4. Bradman Best - NBN News
5. Enari Tuala - Taylors Outdoor Power Equipment
6. Jake Clifford - Sydney Direct Fresh Produce
7. Adam Clune - Guardian Safety Solutions
8. Jacob Saifiti - M&J Chickens
9. Chris Randall - Century 21 Novocastrian
10. Daniel Saifiti - Brydens Lawyers
11. Tyson Frizell - Greg Tapp Printing
12. Brodie Jones - East Coast Building & Pest
13. Kurt Mann - A Plus Contracting
14. Phoenix Crossland - PalmerBet
15. Sauaso Sue - Wests Group
16. Leo Thompson - Accolade Wines
17. Jirah Momoisea - Triple M
18. Simi Sasagi
19. Pasami Saulo
20. Tex Hoy
21. Edrick Lee
22. Jaron Purcell
23. Dylan Lucas
24. Brayden Musgrove
Match: Knights v Sea Eagles
Round 5 -
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle