Star fullback James Tedesco is set to overcome a hip injury to take his place in the Wests Tigers’ side for their trip to Newcastle on Sunday.
Tedesco has battled a hip flexor injury since the Tigers’ last start NRL loss to Cronulla.
But coach Jason Taylor said on Saturday he was confident Tedesco would take his place at the back in the joint venture’s side for their round six visit to Hunter Stadium.
“The week has been a little disjointed because Teddy hasn’t done much with us,” Taylor said.
“But we are confident he will play, he is a 90 per cent chance of playing. He just has to get through training today and pull up well in the morning and he will be playing.”
The slick No.1 is a vital part of the Tigers side. Since the start of last season, Tedesco has scored 24 tries in 29 games, including 13 tries in his past 12 games.
He is the Tigers’ key attacking threat, but he is also one of their toughest players, according to Taylor.
“Toughness is a massive part of his game,” Taylor said.
“I think he showed a few weeks ago with some of those trysaving tackles he made what a great defensive player he is. He puts his body on the line every time he runs the ball and he does it in defence too.”
Tariq Sims returns from suspension for the Knights, who have only one point from a round three golden point draw at Hunter Stadium against Canberra to show for their efforts so far in 2016.
Star halfback Trent Hodkinson said they would take plenty from last week’s narrow loss to the Storm, arguably their best effort of the year.
“The mood has been great coming back from those eight days away,” Hodkinson said.
“It was a great time to bond with the teammates and I think we can take a lot of confidence out of that Melbourne game.”
THE STATS THAT MATTER
* Since winning its first four games at the beginning of last season Newcastle has won just four of 25 matches (with one draw)
* Newcastle has the worst defence in the NRL in 2016, conceding the most points (32 per game) and tries (5.6 per game).
* Aaron Woods has run for over 150 metres in each of his past six games. He leads all forwards in the NRL this season for run metres (933).
* Stats courtesy Fox Sports Stats