Prized mid-season Newcastle recruit Jake Clifford is this afternoon turning out for his first match in Knights colours, after his signing was fast-tracked in the wake of Blake Green’s retirement.
The immediate retirement of veteran half Green late last month paved the way for Clifford to switch from the Cowboys to the Knights immediately – and this afternoon he’s playing at five-eighth as Kurt Mann takes the halfback duties in the Eels clash.
Clifford is making his Knights debut on a special stage, with Newcastle celebrating their annual old boys day. This year’s edition is also being held in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the Knights’ 2001 grand final victory over the Eels.
Club legends Andrew Johns, Danny Buderus, Robbie O’Davis and Mark Hughes are among the 2001 premierships-winners at McDonald Jones Stadium for the treasured day.
Knights: 1. Tex Hoy 2. Starford To’a 3. Enari Tuala 4. Bradman Best 5. Brayden Musgrove 18. Jake Clifford 14. Kurt Mann 8. Sauaso Sue 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Jacob Saifiti 11. Brodie Jones 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Mitchell Barnett 6. Connor Watson 15. Josh King 16. Jack Johns 20. Mathew Croker 18th man: 17. Simi Sasagi
Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Tom Opacic 4. Waqa Blake 5. Haze Dunster 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Marata Niukore 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. Ryan Matterson 13. Nathan Brown 14. Will Smith 15. Shaun Lane 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Bryce Cartwright. 18th man: 19. Makahesi Makatoa