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Ultimate Guide: Dragons confirm team

The nib Newcastle Knights will travel down to Wollongong chasing a huge two points against the Red V.

After three straight defeats, the Knights will be hungry to return to the winner's circle when they take on the Dragons at WIN Stadium.

The red and blue went down to the arch-rivals, Manly Sea Eagles, last start while the Dragons went down to the Rabbitohs.

The two teams will also contest for the Alex McKinnon Cup in tribute to the inspiring former player.

This is your Ultimate Guide to the Newcastle Knights Round 6 fixture against the St George Illawarra Dragons.

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS v nib NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS 

Date: Sunday, April 17, 2022

Kick-off: 4:05pm

Venue: WIN Stadium, Wollongong

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Since: 1999

Played: 41

Dragons: 28

Knights: 13

TEAMS

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Moses Mbye
    Fullback for Knights is number 1 Kalyn Ponga
  • Winger for Dragons is number 2 Mathew Feagai
    Winger for Knights is number 2 Edrick Lee
  • Centre for Dragons is number 3 Moses Suli
    Centre for Knights is number 3 Dane Gagai
  • Centre for Dragons is number 4 Zac Lomax
    Centre for Knights is number 4 Bradman Best
  • Winger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele Ravalawa
    Winger for Knights is number 5 Enari Tuala
  • Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Jack Bird
    Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Jake Clifford
  • Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben Hunt
    Halfback for Knights is number 14 Phoenix Crossland

Forwards

  • Prop for Dragons is number 8 Francis Molo
    Prop for Knights is number 8 David Klemmer
  • Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Andrew McCullough
    Hooker for Knights is number 9 Chris Randall
  • Prop for Dragons is number 10 Josh Kerr
    Prop for Knights is number 15 Jacob Saifiti
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Tariq Sims
    2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Tyson Frizell
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Jaydn Su'A
    2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Brodie Jones
  • Lock for Dragons is number 13 Jack De Belin
    Lock for Knights is number 13 Kurt Mann

Interchange

  • Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Talatau Amone
    Interchange for Knights is number 10 Daniel Saifiti
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Blake Lawrie
    Interchange for Knights is number 16 Leo Thompson
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Josh McGuire
    Interchange for Knights is number 17 Sauaso Sue
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 17 George Burgess
    Interchange for Knights is number 18 Simi Sasagi

Reserves

  • Replacement for Dragons is number 18 Tautau Moga
    Replacement for Knights is number 20 Tex Hoy

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ben Cummins
  • Touch Judge: Wyatt Raymond
  • Touch Judge: Jon Stone
  • Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein

Last updated:

TEAM NEWS

LATE MAIL: Adam Clune is a late withdrawal with Phoenix Crossland coming in at halfback.

Simi Sasagi comes onto the bench while Jacob Saifiti moves into the run-on side with Daniel Saifiti moving to the interchange.

Tex Hoy will be the 18th man.

For the Dragons, the side is 1-17.

TEAM LIST TUESDAY: Knights Head Coach, Adam O'Brien, has named his 24-man squad for Sunday's game.

Edrick Lee returns to NRL football after a long and challenging battle with a foot injury, alongside David Klemmer who has been named to start in the front row.

Lee replaces Dom Young (knee) and Jacob Saifiti moves to the bench.

For the Dragons, Josh McGuire and Tyrell Fuimaono have been named to return from suspensions.

Josh Kerr earns a promotion in the starting side with Aaron Woods dropping back to the bench.

George Burgess comes in for Jackson Ford, who is among the reserves.

Recovery Report: Klemmer and Johns update

FORM GUIDE

The Knights suffered their third defeat of the season with a 30-6 loss to Manly last Thursday.

The side sit in 11th spot after the opening five rounds and will look to return to the winner's circle in the trip down to Wollongong.

Clifford: Dragons preview and big inclusions

After an opening round win, the Dragons have lost their last four games including a 24-12 defeat to the Rabbitohs last start.

St George Illawarra sit in 14th coming into the game.

Newcastle have won two of the last three clashes with the Red V while the Dragons claimed the points in the previous game between the two sides in 2021.

ALEX MCKINNON CUP

The winner will take home the Alex McKinnon Cup in homage to the inspiring former player.

The Knights will look to reclaim the important piece of silverware with the Dragons the current holders of the Cup.

The forward made his debut at the Red V where he made three appearances before returning home to the Hunter in 2012.

McKinnon played in 46 games for the red and blue over three seasons which included a run to the Preliminary Final in 2013.

McKinnon's unbreakable spirit and determination captured the hearts of the rugby league world post his retirement.

The Cup is contested on the first fixture of the season between the two Clubs.

KEY MATCH-UP

Bradman Best v Zac Lomax: Two game-breaking centres will battle it out on Sunday afternoon.

Best has been damaging in the opening five rounds having scored two tries and one try-assist plus notching eight tackle breaks.

The 20-year-old has formed a potent left-edge combination with Enari Tuala.

Best will take on Lomax who has made 11 tackle breaks and averaged 122 running metres. so far in 2022.

Mann: Lee's return and returning to form

STAT ATTACK

The Knights haven't played in Wollongong since 2018 and the red and blue have won four of the last six clashes against the Dragons at WIN Stadium dating back to 1997.

The Knights lead the NRL in total kick metres with just under 3,200 metres.

Kalyn Ponga has scored three tries in his last two games against the dragons.

Dragons halfback, Ben Hunt, leads the NRL for line engagements with 49.