The Knights are desperately trying to snap a six-game losing streak when they face a red-hot Cowboys in Townsville.
North Queensland fullback Scott Drinkwater has held his spot despite the return of Maroons star Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow who is on the bench.
MATCH CENTRE: Cowboys v Knights, teams, live scores, video
“The resurgent Cowboys are facing a desperate Knights side,” Andrew Voss said on Fox League.
Newcastle have picked Tex Hoy to play in the halves for the first time in his 19-game NRL career and he’ll partner Phoenix Crossland who played lock last week.
There’s speculation the Knights could inject fullback Kalyn Ponga into the halves in attack.
“There’s a sneaky whisper that Ponga is going to play five-eighth in attack and fullback in defence,” Paul Kenr said on NRL 360 this week.
Hoy has primarily played fullback during his time at Newcastle.
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