Houston named in Knights NZ trial - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Houston named in Knights NZ trial

31/01/2011 09:18:49 PM Comments (0)

Chris Houston will pull on a Newcastle jersey for the first time in almost a year after being named in their side to play New Zealand in a trial match for the Pike River Miners relief fund in Greymouth.

The promising 26-year-old backrower's future was in limbo last March when he was placed on drugs supply charges and stood down by the Knights.

But late last year he was cleared of those charges and reinstated by the Knights, who quickly signed him to a two-year deal.

Newcastle coach Rick Stone's 22-man squad for Saturday's match is missing stars including skipper Kurt Gidley, try-scoring machine Akuila Uate and gifted playmaker Jarrod Mullen.

But there will be no shortage of passion in the Knights side with former New Zealand Warrior Evarn Tuimavave captaining them.

Tuimavave says it will be an honour to skipper the Knights in Greymouth, the town where 29 miners died after an explosion at the Pike River Mine last November.

"It will be great to come up against the boys from my old club, and I'm really grateful Stoney has given me the chance to lead the boys out on the park," Tuimavave said.

"When I heard the trial was on in Greymouth I asked Stoney if I could play, because I know it had a big effect on the community and this game will help them get through these tough times a bit better."

The Knights arrive in Greymouth on Thursday and will take part in fund raising events with the Warriors including a West Coast Rugby League charity dinner on Friday night before the match at Wingham Park on Miners Solidarity Day.

The Newcastle area is one of the world's biggest exporters of coal and the club gladly accepted the invitation from the Warriors and the NRL to help out another mining town.

Players and management from both sides will also visit the Brunner Mine, scene of the 1896 disaster which claimed 65 lives.

Tuimavave made 105 appearances for the Warriors before joining the Knights last year.

He missed the bulk of the season after rupturing an Achilles in round 10.

Newcastle Knights squad: Chris Adams, Josh Ailaomai, Ethan Cook, Joel Edwards, Marvin Filipo, Chris Houston, Marvin Karawana, Siuatonga Likiliki, Keith Lulia, Peter Mata'utia, Shannon McDonnell, Kevin Naiqama, Kyle O'Donnell, Api Pewhairangi, Chad Redman, Tyrone Roberts, Ben Rogers, Steve Southern, Ryan Stig, Zane Tetevano, Evarn Tuimavave (capt), Simon Williams.

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