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Newcastle coach Adam O'Brien has put his faith in home-grown debutants Tex Hoy and Chris Randall to handle the big occasion on Sunday as the Knights strive to maintain their unbeaten start to the NRL season against Penrith at Campbelltown Stadium.
In a squad now flush with locally produced talent that also includes the likes of Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Sione Mata'utia and Daniel and Jacob Saifiti, Hoy and Randall will make their top grade debuts against the Panthers with Hoy as expected in the side deputising for the suspended Kalyn Ponga at fullback.
The 20-year-old South Newcastle junior could also find himself handling the goal-kicking duties as well.
Lakes United junior Randall gets his first opportunity in the NRL at the age of 24 and will come off the bench, sharing the hooking duties with utility star Connor Watson.
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It was only five months ago that Randall was preparing to return to part-time footy with his aspirations of making it into the NRL seemingly over.
But he'll get his shot in the big time after O'Brien opted to give ex-Brisbane Broncos signing Andrew McCullough another week and several more training sessions to settle in before considering him for selection.
All up, O'Brien has named nine locally-produced players in his extended squad of 21 to travel to Campbelltown.
As expected, Mata'utia returns to the starting lineup at right backrower after missing his side's round three win over Wests Tigers through injury and will fill the void there left by the loss of Mitch Barnett.
The only real surprise was the omission of teenage centre Bradman Best from the 17-man squad.
Despite being fully recovered from foot surgery back in March, Best was named in the No.18 jersey with the two centres who played in the club's opening two premiership rounds before the shutdown, Gehamat Shibasaki and Enari Tuala, retaining their places in the starting side.
Whether it stays that way on Sunday remains to be seen with Best one of the side's star performers since the players returned to training more than three weeks ago.
There is a strong possibility he could be a late inclusion with either Tuala or Shibasaki to make way for the 18-year-old powerhouse.
Meanwhile, as expected, Panthers coach Ivan Cleary has called up Matt Burton into the halves for the clash, with his son Nathan out through suspension.
Burton and Samoan halfback Jarome Luai have played just 20 NRL games between them with Burton only having made one previous appearance late last season.
The Knights halves, Mitchell Pearce and Kurt Mann, boast 387 games of NRL experience.
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