Knights on Tedesco alert after his Origin bonanza
Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown will be extra wary of Sydney Roosters fullback James Tedesco on Saturday, following his man of the match performance in Wednesday night's State of Origin.
Brown already knew his capability at club level, but was extra impressed by his development at state level culminating in his fifth appearance in a Blues jumper this week being his best to date.
He believes Tedesco and fellow Roosters Origin players Latrell Mitchell, Dylan Napa and Boyd Cordner will be at their best.
But it is the in-form Tedesco up against Knights rising star in fullback Kalyn Ponga that is set to provide a mouth-watering clash for both clubs.
"Obviously Tedesco played a huge part in their (NSW Blues) win, and Latrell Mitchell and Boyd Cordner are obviously very good," Brown said.
"When you are stepping out into that arena, you have a lot going for you, and that is certainly a goal for our club to have players playing at that level.
"He [Tedesco] is a player when you’re talking about the Roosters, you review his play and you rate his figures highly.
"But we've got our own fullback who I imagine will figure highly in their [pre-game] plans as well, so I think it will be good challenge not only for us, but a good contest."
While Ponga did not take to the field in Origin, he was called into the Maroons camp in Melbourne on Monday night. Brown is not worried about the extra travel affecting his preparation this weekend, when the Knights host the Roosters at McDonald Jones Stadium.
"He'll be home today [Thursday], and train at some stage tomorrow," the Knights coach said.
"Whilst he did not play, he'd be grateful for the opportunity Kevvie Walters gave him to spend two or three days with his state.
"I am sure he will come back with some great experiences.
"He's definitely going to be there at some stage, probably the sooner the better for Kalyn, but grateful to have him for us this week."
The Knights are coming off a confidence building 30-4 victory over Parramatta, but face a much tougher task this weekend.
The Roosters have won the past five meetings between the two sides, with Newcastle able to score more than eight points in only one of those matches.
The last victory for the Novocastrians was back in 2014. But on Saturday they will have the drive of former Roosters players Aidan Guerra, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, and Connor Watson in Knights colours eager to put on a show for their old club.
Newcastle is recognising the contribution mining has played in the region, with the sixth annual 'Voice for Mining Family Day'.
Players will take to the field in their special 'high-vis' mining-themed jerseys, with thousands of miners and their families expected to attend the round 14 game.