THE Sydney Roosters will wheel out the heavy artillery against the Knights in a trial at Wyong on Saturday, naming captain Anthony Minichiello and New Zealand dual international Sonny Bill Williams among 10 members of their premiership-winning team.
The Newcastle Herald reported yesterday that the Knights expected the Roosters to use the game at Morry Breen Oval as a warm-up for the World Club Challenge against English Super League champions Wigan at Allianz Stadium the following Saturday.
The Roosters confirmed this late yesterday when they named most of their big guns in a 28-man squad, which includes players from their NSW Cup feeder team Newtown and will be coached by assistants Steve McNamara and Craig Fitzgibbon.
Joining Minichiello and Williams will be Australian World Cup representatives Michael Jennings and Boyd Cordner, Kiwi internationals Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Frank-Paul Nuuausala and Sam Moa, NSW five-eighth James Maloney and experienced utilities Mitchell Aubusson and Daniel Mortimer.
Of the other members of the team that beat Manly in the 2013 NRL decider, Mitchell Pearce, Jake Friend, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Daniel Tupou and Aidan Guerra will represent the Roosters at the Auckland Nines, Kiwi Test winger Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is still recovering from a broken leg suffered in the World Cup, and Luke O’Donnell has retired.
‘‘It’s a quality squad we’re taking to the Coast, including a good mix of some of our more experienced campaigners, and some of those exciting youngsters as well,’’ Fitzgibbon said.
‘‘We’re obviously missing some key guys with the Nines being on, but this is a good chance for those younger and less experienced guys to have a crack at a higher level and show us what they’ve got.’’
The Knights have named two squads, including senior forwards Matt Hilder and David Fa’alogo and representative players Korbin Sims and Travis Waddell.
The game will kick off at 6.30pm and entry is free.
The Knights and Roosters will also play a National Youth Cup trial, kicking off at 4.45pm.
Roosters: Minichiello, Brendan Elliot, Jennings, Aubusson, Taane Milne, Maloney, Mortimer, Waerea-Hargreaves, Kurt Kara, Moa, Cordner, Williams, Nuuausala, Remi Casty, Jack Noble, Jack Siejka, Willis Meehan, Shannon Gallant, James Anthony, Chris Taripo, Brett Lane, Adam Hansen, Jake Watts, Bobbie Goulding, Shaquille Blair, Jordan Galloway, Ray Moujalli, Andrew Pearn.
Knights team 1: Nathan Ross, Josh Mantellato, Pat Mata’utia, James Elias, Marcel Ikinofo, Tom Lidden, Tyler Randell, Dave Fa’alogo, Travis Waddell, Korbin Sims, Brenton Horwood, Jeremy Siulepa, Matt Hilder. Interchange: Chad Redman, Pat Vaivai, Ben Tupou, Josh Allison.
Knights team 2: Liam Mecham, Bernard Gregorius, Tom Morton, Josh Allison, Tyme Dow-Nikau, Danny Kerr, Ryan Walsh, Michael Steele, Liam Higgins, Blake Osgood, Cruise Wilson, Luke Turner, Tom Shearman. Interchange: Matt Craig, James Coote, Brent Gentles, Rob Mason, Teason Faavae-Eli.