The Parramatta Eels will clash with the Newcastle Knights at ANZ Stadium on Saturday 2 June in Round 13 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
Coming off a 18-10 defeat to the Brisbane Broncos last week, Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur has made one change to his starting line up with Corey Norman ruled out through injury.
Bevan French moves to fullback as Josh Hoffman returns to the side on the wing.
Will Smith, Suaia Matagi, David Gower, Marata Niukore have been named on the bench with Nathan Brown, Kirisome Auva’a, Jaeman Salmon and Kane Evans on the reserves.
For the away side, Head Coach Nathan Brown has made a handful of changes following his sides 48-10 defeat to the Cronulla Sharks last week.
Nathan Ross has been ruled out with a groin injury, replaced in the centres by Corey Denniss. Jacob Lillyman starts at prop for the suspended Herman Ese’ese, with Josh King recalled to the bench.
On form, the Eels have slumped to a 2-10 record halfway through the season, suffering defeats in their past four clashes and currently sit at the bottom of the table.
The Blue & Gold attack has showed promising signs over the past few weeks, however the side is yet to put in a complete 80 minute performance in 2018, drifting in and out of the games and giving up key moments.
The Knights have also lost their last four games and currently sit 10th on the ladder. After winning five of their first eight games, a crucial injury to Mitchell Pearce and a heavy reliance on 20-year old Kayln Ponga have seen the Knights reach a make or break point in terms of Finals aspirations.
Historically, the Knights hold a slight head to head advantage, with 27 wins from 49 games. The two sides have played just two games at ANZ Stadium with the Novocastrians claiming victories in both of those clashes.
Gates will open at 5:00pm for a 7:35pm NRL Kick off.
Please note the Intrust Super Premiership NSW clash between the Wentworthville Magpies and the New Zealand Warriors will feature ahead of the NRL clash with kick off at 5:15pm.
In our first Super Flag Saturday of the season, the first 2,000 Fans through the gates will receive a FREE collectable Eels Flag. Be sure to grab your flag and turn ANZ Blue & Gold! Be a part of Super Flag Saturday and get your tickets now!
Match Details: Parramatta Eels v Newcastle Knights at ANZ Stadium, Round 13, Saturday 2 June.
Head-to-head: Played 49; Knights 27 wins, Eels 21 wins, 1 draw
Matches at venue: Played 2; Knights 2 wins
2017 result: Knights won 29-10 at ANZ Stadium in round 23
Points per game: Eels 14.2; Knights 17.5
Points conceded per game: Eels 22.3; Knights 28.5
Televised: Live on Nine, Fox League
Parramatta Eels squad
1 Bevan French, 2 Josh Hoffman, 3 Michael Jennings, 4 Brad Takairangi, 5 George Jennings, 6 Clint Gutherson (c), 7 Mitchell Moses, 8 Daniel Alvaro, 9 Cameron King, 10 Siosaia Vave, 11 Manu Ma'u, 12 Tepai Moeroa, 13 Peni Terepo
Interchange: 14 Will Smith, 15 Suaia Matagi, 16 David Gower, 17 Marata Niukore 18 Nathan Brown, 19 Kirisome Auva'a, 20 Jaeman Salmon, 21 Kane Evans
Newcastle Knights squad
1 Kalyn Ponga, 2 Ken Sio, 3 Sione Mata'utia, 4 Cory Denniss, 5 Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 6 Connor Watson, 7 Jack Cogger, 8 Jacob Lillyman, 9 Slade Griffin, 10 Daniel Saifiti, 11 Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12 Mitchell Barnett, 13 Aidan Guerra (c)
Interchange: 14 Danny Levi, 15 Chris Heighington, 16 Jamie Buhrer (c), 18 Josh King 18 Luke Yates, 19 Brent Naden, 20 Nicholas Meaney, 21 Patrick Mata'utia