Tuimavave ready to fire for Knights - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tuimavave ready to fire for Knights

Ben Horne 04/02/2011 05:15:08 PM Comments (0)

For Newcastle prop Evarn Tuimavave, Saturday night's NRL trial against the Warriors is more than a warm-up match.

The 26-year-old is making his return from the achilles injury which ended his 2010 season after just 10 rounds and he's a man on a mission.

Tuimavave wants to stake first claim for a Knights starting jersey this year, and said he won't be holding back coming up against his old team.

More importantly, the Knights are playing the 'Solidarity Cup' against the Warriors in the town of Greymouth, where 29 miners were tragically killed in an explosion late last year.

As a proud Kiwi, Tuimavave said he was personally shaken by the disaster and has been given the honour of leading the Knights into battle as captain.

With the Hunter home to its own mining community, Tuimavave said the charity match means a lot to Newcastle as they and the Warriors attempt to raise money and spirits in the town.

"It's like the floods in Brisbane, I've got family up in Brisbane and I'm from New Zealand, and when things like that happen it really hits home," Tuimavave told AAP.

"It takes you back to reality and it really does affect you.

"It's obviously a big deal for all the boys. Newcastle is a mining town and driving around it really hit home with the people there."

Tuimavave made a strong start to last season, before injury struck.

Given the likes of Chris Houston, Neville Costigan, Mark Taufua and Antonio Kaufusi are also on the Knights roster, there's no shortage of candidates for starting positions in the pack.

With the 'c' next to his name, Tuimavave is relying on this trial to get his season off to the best possible start.

"It's a big honour to be named captain, it's the first time I've captained an NRL team before and I'm really excited coming up against my old team," he said.

"I'm the only front-rower from last year that's playing and I have the chance to make first impression and hopefully I make it a good one.

"I don't expect anything less from the Warriors than what I would in a normal match. I'm going to go my hardest and play at 110 per cent and if we clash on the field that's part of rugby league. You play against mates every week."

Newcastle have been attending charity dinners and holding coaching camps whilst in New Zealand.

Coach Rick Stone has named a strong side, with returning star Houston to come off the bench and former North Queensland Cowboy Steve Southern to start in the second row.

Young guns Siuatonga Likiliki, who is another former Warrior, and Kevin Naiqama, brother of Wes, will have a chance to impress in the backs.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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