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Knights winger Hymel Hunt.

Newcastle's left edge has fired plenty of shots in 2020 but winger Hymel Hunt says the other side of the field is key to their top-four hopes.

The Knights have scored 17 of their 27 tries down the left channel in the opening six games with Edrick Lee, Bradman Best and Kurt Mann contributing heavily since the competition resumed in May.

In comparison, the Knights have managed just four tries on the right side with the remaining six through the middle third.

Hunt, who played left centre last season, moved to the right wing under Adam O'Brien this year and scored his first try of the season last week.

O'Brien has tinkered with his right edge combination over the past month with Enari Tuala and Gehamat Shibasaki rotating in the centre role, while back-rower Mitchell Barnett (neck) remains sidelined after surgery.

O'Brien's warning: We're not going as well as we think

"Most teams that make the top four and eight have got strike on both edges because at times we can't keep going to our left edge because teams will put an extra number there," Hunt said.

"We need to continue to build the right edge. [Enari and Gehamat] are two different types of players, one is real live with footwork and the other is a bigger body and more beast-like.

"They've both got very good strengths in attack and defence. We're just scratching the surface."

Tuala and Shibasaki will play their third game together as a centre pairing on Saturday after young gun Bradman Best was ruled out following a minor breach of COVID-19 protocols.

Cowboys v Knights - Round 7

O'Brien said the regular changes on the right edge may be contributing to the lopsided figure but he was otherwise unfazed.

"By making a few of the changes recently you run the risk of breaking down some connection there," he said.

"It's important I stay on top of that at training and get some reps into them. [But] I think it's more a case that the left edge has grabbed some opportunities.

"Bradman's grabbed a couple and Edrick certainly makes the most of his opportunities.

"I don't think we're heavily weighted or don't go into a game saying send more ball down left but have grabbed some more opportunities more so than the right."

Another established centre, Tau Moga, remains on the cusp of a recall after falling behind the pecking order in the backline.

Moga will be one of nine players in the club's extended squad to make the trip to Townsville on Saturday. They will get some much-needed match fitness after a scrimmage against the Cowboys got the green light.

"The good thing is the guys get to pull on the jumper and play against guys who aren't their teammates," O'Brien said.

"It's been a long time coming for them. It's going to be good for them physically and mentally."

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