Fijian international Kevin Naiqama will make his NRL debut for the Knights alongside his older brother, Wes, in Newcastle’s last game of the season against Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park on Sunday.
The 21-year-old St George junior has replaced centre Junior Sa’u in the back line. Sa'u was ruled out at training this morning due to a hamstring strain.
Naiqama will play on the left wing and Cooper Vuna will take Sau’s place in the centres.
Wes Naiqama, the Fijian captain, was named at fullback on Tuesday in place of Shannon McDonnell, who has been struggling with a hamstring problem since early last week.
Captain Kurt Gidley suffered a knee injury in Newcastle’s 26-18 loss to the Dragons at EnergyAustralia Stadium and will miss the game against the Storm, meaning Jarrod Mullen will lead the Knights in his 100th NRL game and Scott Dureau will play halfback.
Prop Ben Cross was cleared to play against his old club but will have a pain-killing injection in his left hand, which he broke against the Dragons last Saturday.