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Two new NRLW teams go head-to-head in the third leg of Sunday's triple-header, with the Knights hosting the Eels at McDonald Jones Stadium.

The Knights are brimming with local talent as well as a huge eight-player Kiwi Ferns test contingent, but overall boast the fewest NRLW caps of any of the six sides this year, with 45.

The Eels (63 caps) are also relatively low on experience and representative honours outside a few marquee signings but boast some exciting up-and-comers and are coached by club legend Dean Widders.

No doubt each side will be desperate to kick off their NRLW existence with a win.

The rundown

Team news

Knights: Last year's BHP Premiership player of the year Romy Teitzel will captain the Knights in her first game for the club. The competition newcomers have named a powerful squad which includes her North Queensland Gold Stars team-mate Tahlulah Tillett at halfback alongside exciting Kiwi Autumn-Rain Stephens Daly in the No.6.

Veteran Krystal Rota packs down at hooker alongside Caitlan Johnston, who is 15 years her junior, and former Warrior Annetta Nu'uausala, the younger sister of Frank-Paul Nu'auasala who played NRL with the Roosters and Raiders.

There is plenty of experience on the bench with NSW and Australian rep Kirra Dibb and four-Test Kiwi Fern Charlotte Scanlan.

Ngatokutoru Arakua, Chantelle Graham, Kararaina Wira-Kohu and Paige Parker were omitted from the extended squad 24 hours before kick-off.

Eels: Fullback Botille Vette-Welsh plus props Kennedy Cherrington and Tommaya Kelly-Sines are coming off mighty efforts in the recent All Stars clash while  hooker Nita Maynard and centre Jocephy Daniels also acquitted themselves well.

Centre Tiana Penitani, halfback Maddie Studdon, winger Rikeya Horne, bench prop Filomina Hanisi and lock and captain Simaima Taufa are the other big-name recruits.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Knights is number 1 Romy Teitzel
    Fullback for Eels is number 1 Botille Vette-Welsh
  • Winger for Knights is number 2 Katelyn Vaha'akolo
    Winger for Eels is number 2 Taina Naividi
  • Centre for Knights is number 3 Jayme Fressard
    Centre for Eels is number 3 Tiana Penitani
  • Centre for Knights is number 4 Bobbi Law
    Centre for Eels is number 4 Jocephy Daniels
  • Winger for Knights is number 5 Katie Green
    Winger for Eels is number 5 Rikeya Horne
  • Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Autumn-Rain Stephens-Daly
    Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Sereana Naitokatoka
  • Halfback for Knights is number 7 Tahlulah Tillett
    Halfback for Eels is number 7 Maddie Studdon

Forwards

  • Prop for Knights is number 8 Caitlan Johnston
    Prop for Eels is number 8 Kennedy Cherrington
  • Hooker for Knights is number 9 Krystal Rota
    Hooker for Eels is number 9 Nita Maynard
  • Prop for Knights is number 10 Annetta Nu'uausala
    Prop for Eels is number 10 Tommaya Kelly-Sines
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Rangimarie Edwards-Bruce
    2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Jade Etherden
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Georgia Page
    2nd Row for Eels is number 20 Ellie Johnston
  • Lock for Knights is number 13 Charntay Poko
    Lock for Eels is number 13 Simaima Taufa

Interchange

  • Interchange for Knights is number 14 Emma Manzelmann
    Interchange for Eels is number 14 Shirley Mailangi
  • Interchange for Knights is number 15 Charlotte Scanlan
    Interchange for Eels is number 15 Abbi Church
  • Interchange for Knights is number 16 Phoebe Desmond
    Interchange for Eels is number 16 Therese Aiton
  • Interchange for Knights is number 17 Kirra Dibb
    Interchange for Eels is number 17 Filomina Hanisi

Reserves

  • Replacement for Knights is number 18 Maitua Feterika
    Replacement for Eels is number 18 Christine Pauli

Match Officials

  • Referee: Kasey Badger
  • Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy

Last updated:

Key match-up

Romy Teitzel v Botille Vette-Welsh: Teitzel captains the Knights after departing Brisbane looking for greater opportunity while Vette-Welsh is a leader for both the Maori All Stars and the Eels. A north Queenslander and daughter of former Cowboy Craig Teitzel, Romy was player of the year in last year's BHP Premiership. Vette-Welsh was close to the best player in a beaten side in the All Stars, setting up both her team's tries. 

Stat attack

Eels props dominated the stats sheet in All Stars: Cherrington topped the tackles for Maori with 27 and had the second-most metres with 129 while busting the most tackles (five) in the match. Meanwhile Kelly-Sines had the equal-most busts for Indigenous All Stars with four and was one of just four forwards in the match to maintain a 100% tackle efficiency. 

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours 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.

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