Knights lose McManus for four to six weeks

FORMER NSW winger James McManus will undergo facial surgery next week and will not play for the Knights against New Zealand Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday night.

McManus suffered a fractured eye socket during the first half of Newcastle’s 32-6 victory over Manly at Hunter Stadium last Saturday night, and has been ruled out for four to six weeks.

‘James didn’t come off after a collision in Saturday’s game against Manly but we knew he was in a bit of trouble afterwards,’’ Knights high performance director Jeremy Hickmans said in a statement on the club's website.

‘‘He had scans on Monday and we got the results today which showed he has a fractured eye socket. We have him booked in for surgery next week and he will miss between four to six weeks.’’

Knights coach Wayne Bennett named Kevin Naiqama as a replacement for McManus, who despite his injury scored two tries against the Sea Eagles to take his season tally to 10.

Naiqama’s last NRL appearance was against Parramatta on June 30, when he played fullback as a replacement for Queensland Origin representative Darius Boyd, and he scored a spectacular length-of-the-field try in Newcastle’s 20-12 victory.

In the only other change to the team that defeated the Sea Eagles last Saturday, Bennett named Neville Costigan to return from a biceps injury.

Costigan was named at lock, pushing Alex McKinnon back to a five-man bench alongside Robbie Rochow, Zeb Taia, Adam Cuthbertson and Marvin Filipo.

Warriors coach Brian McClennan named centre Konrad Hurrell to return from a foot injury.

KNIGHTS Darius Boyd, Kevin Naiqama, Dane Gagai, Timana Tahu, Aku Uate, Jarrod Mullen, Tyrone Roberts, Zane Tetevano, Danny Buderus (c), Willie Mason, Chris Houston, Joel Edwards, Neville Costigan. Interchange Robbie Rochow, Zeb Taia, Adam Cuthbertson, Alex McKinnon, Marvin Filipo (one to be omitted)

WARRIORS Kevin Locke, Bill Tupou, Ben Henry, Konrad Hurrell, Manu Vatuvei, James Maloney, Shaun Johnson, Russell Packer, Nathan Friend, Ben Matulino, Feleti Mateo, Simon Mannering (c), Elijah Taylor. Interchange Lewis Brown, Sione Lousi, Jacob Lillyman, Steve Rapira, Omar Slaimankhel (one to be omitted).

Kick-off: Saturday 5.30pm (AEST) at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland

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