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The Roosters Crow: Back in Our Castle

Your Roosters will kick-start the NRL season back at the Sydney Cricket Ground for the first time in 300 days against the Newcastle Knights in what is expected to be an absolute blockbuster!

Recent History: Sydney Roosters vs Newcastle Knights

The Sydney Roosters and Newcastle Knights meet for the 59th time since 1988 - the year the Knights entered the competition - with the Red, White and Blue on the verge of completing a five-match winning streak against the Novocastrians. 

Of their 58 previous meetings, the Tricolours have taken out 36, holding a 62% winning rate over their opponents, while claiming fourteen of the last sixteen matches - including the two matches played at the SCG with a 48-10 win in 2019 and a 42-12 victory the following year. 

Easts were also triumphant in the last meeting against the Knights in Round 19, 2021 in an emphatic 28-8 victory on the Sunshine Coast. 

How They Line Up

Head Coach Trent Robinson has named a strong 24-man squad to take on the Knights, which will see Luke Keary and Lindsay Collins play their first NRL match upon return from ACL tears in 2021, while new signings Paul Momirovski, Connor Watson and Kevin Naiqama have also been named. 

Captain James Tedesco heads the backline, along with Daniel Tupou, Billy Smith, Joseph Manu, and Momirovski who takes his place on the wing. 

Sam Walker and Keary line up for the first time in the halves, while Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Watson and Collins - who plays his 50th game for the Roosters - take their place in the front row.

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:

The back row takes a similar shape as it did last season, with Angus Crichton, Sitili Tupouniua and Victor Radley locking up the scrum.

Drew Hutchison, Fletcher Baker, Nat Butcher and Siosiua Taukeiaho have been named on the interchange bench, while Naiqama has been named as 18th man.

The extended interchange bench features Daniel Suluka-Fifita, Lachlan Lam, Naufahu Whyte, Adam Keighran, Tuku Hau Tapuha and Ben Marschke. 

Newcastle have undergone some major changes to their squad in the off-season, with Adam Clune taking up the halfback role vacated by former Rooster Mitchell Pearce, while they have also welcomed experienced State of Origin winger Dane Gagai back to the club.

Returning Home

The Knights have, however, been handed a major blow up front with the omission of Daniel Saifiti, meaning their forward punch willy rely heavily on one man...

Key Match Up: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves vs David Klemmer

Two enforces come together in the middle of the park when starting front rowers Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and David Klemmer go toe-to-toe. 

JWH, the cornerstone of the Roosters' forward pack, laces up the boots for a thirteenth season in Red, White and Blue, lining up alongside the returning Lindsay Collins who plays his first NRL match since Round 8 last year - which,  ironically, was against Newcastle. 

His opposite in former New South Wales and Australian representative David Klemmer has regained a starting spot in the forward pack following a strong pre-season, and will be shouldering plenty of responsibility on Saturday afternoon with Saifiti out. 

The match up between fullbacks James Tedesco and Kalyn Ponga will be one to watch, but keep an eye on the men in the middle to get through the grunt work and allow their outside men to get on the front foot. 

What They Said

“The SCG is our home. We’ve enjoyed playing there for the last couple of years and we’re looking forward to getting out there and representing our area." - Nat Butcher

"I’m proud to be representing these boys. They’re hungry, they do everything they can on and off the field to be the best they can and it’s exciting for us going forward." - James Tedesco

“The weight that ground holds, there are so many historic moments." - Kevin Naiqama

Your Verdict

It's predicted to be yet another classic between the Sydney Roosters and Newcastle Knights on Saturday afternoon - and history will be made as both the NRL and NRLW sides complete a double header for the very first time. 

Your Roosters will be primed to return to the Sydney Cricket Ground after nearly 300 days of absence, and what better way to celebrate a homecoming with a win to start the season? 

Be sure to grab your tickets here for our historic double header at the family-friendly time at 12:50pm, before the NRL kick off their season at 3:00pm at our hallowed home ground! 


Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.