For the Warriors, winger Todd Byrne remains on the sidelines for a further six weeks with a broken arm.
Injury-prone Knights fullback David Seage has overcome a hamstring problem that has kept him out since round 11 and will start in the number one jersey. Matt Gidley makes an earlier-than-expected return from an eye socket injury in the centres, but Milton Thaiday (ankle) and Jarod Mullen (hand fracture) require another week of recovery.
The Warriors registered just their second win in Australia this season by overcoming a depleted Roosters at the weekend. The platform for the victory was set in the first-half when the Kiwi-based side completed an astonishing 95 percent of their sets to starve the young Roosters of possession. If only Ivan Cleary could get his troops to do stuff like this on a weekly basis.
The Knights are coming off a bye and consecutive losses against the Dragons and Bulldogs. They started well against Dogs in round 13, but went on to make 15 errors in the match, giving their opposition too much possession. They remain in third position on percentages.
Warriors skipper Steve Price will become the 50th player to make 250 first-grade games when he takes the field on Sunday. Ironically Price's front-row partner, Ruben Wiki, became the 49th player to reach the same milestone back in round six of this season.
For the Knights, Kurt Gidley has starred since shifting to fullback over the last couple of weeks in the absence of David Seage and Milton Thaiday. In a losing side against the Bulldogs in round 13, he clocked up 206 metres from 18 runs and the week previous against the Dragons he scored a try and made several line-breaks. The return of Seage this week pushes the younger Gidley brother back to five-eighth.
Knights forward Adam Woolnough paid the price for a lacklustre effort against the Bulldogs by being demoted to the interchange bench for this match. He made just 86 metres from 10 runs to be his side's most ineffective forward.
Steve Price v Craig Smith
Nathan Fien v Danny Buderus
Louis Anderson v Steve Simpson
LIKE TO SEE
The Warriors maintain their new-found respect for possession.
WOULDN'T LIKE TO SEE
Andrew Johns continue his sluggish form. 'Joey' quit Origin football this season to concentrate on the Knights, but he has struggled during the Origin period and it has shown in Newcastle's results.
The Warriors rarely put two good performances together and the Knights will be desperate to turn around some rather ordinary form over the last fortnight. Expect Danny Buderus and Andrew Johns to carve the Warriors up off the back of a strong forward performance. The Kiwi-based side simply doesn't back-up well after a win - even at home. Knights by 16.
Hmm doesnt look like sportal rate us at all. I guess its fair that we dont backup well after a win but surely a closer game than a 16 point hiding.