Knights' stocks soar for showdown - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Knights' stocks soar for showdown

By Darren Walton 08/04/2003 08:53:27 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle's stocks for Friday night's National Rugby League blockbuster against the Bulldogs soared with the inclusion of Test forward Ben Kennedy and classy centre Mark Hughes.

Kennedy has been out of action since injuring his wrist in the club's round-one win over the New Zealand Warriors.

He comes straight back into the starting side, with Matthew Jobson reverting to the interchange bench.

Former NSW fullback Hughes, on the comeback from knee surgery, has also been promoted to the run-on side after starting from the bench in last Saturday night's win over Melbourne.

The Knights have yet to play at full-strength this season but, with prop Matt Parsons (back) in barnstorming form resuming against the Storm and powerhouse winger Adam MacDougall (knee) expected back within a fortnight, things are on the up in Newcastle.

"It's all looking positive for (the) Canterbury (game) on Friday and, looking beyond that, it certainly looks encouraging," Newcastle coach Michael Hagan said.

Jonathan Thurston has retained the five-eighth role for the Bulldogs, with Corey Hughes moving to hooker and Adam Perry - players' player in last Friday night's win over Parramatta - relegated to the bench.

Melbourne five-eighth Scott Hill will have to wait another week to make his return from a shoulder injury after being ruled out of the Storm's game against Cronulla at Olympic Park on Saturday.

Hill injured his left rotator cuff in the club's stunning round-one win over the Sharks and has missed the Storm's past two matches.

The 25-year-old Test lock was close to selection but will require at least one more week before he rejoins the injury-ravaged Storm.

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