Rookie Phoenix Crossland has played a total of 12 minutes and had just four touches of the footy in his NRL career.
But the young Knights playmaker could find himself coming out of dummy half opposing Cameron Smith or marking up against Cameron Munster on Sunday after being named on the bench for Newcastle's clash against Melbourne Storm on the Sunshine Coast.
The Knights are looking to hit back after a dismal afternoon last Sunday saw them drop two competition points to the bottom-placed Bulldogs.
Crossland, who debuted with a cameo off the bench in the final 12 minutes against the Warriors in round 17 last season, is one of three forced changes to the Knights squad for the game with hooker Andrew McCullough and utility Connor Watson out for the season and backrower Sione Mata'utia the latest to join the club's crippling injury crisis.
Mata'utia will have surgery this week and faces six weeks on the sideline after suffering a syndesmosis injury late in the loss to the Bulldogs. He is one of eight members of the club's top squad currently unavailable.
Coach Adam O'Brien has named specialist hooker Chris Randall in the number 9 jersey as Andrew McCullough's replacement with Aidan Guerra back in the starting side for Mata'utia.
The new faces on the bench are Crossland and prop Josh King with Kurt Mann, who filled in at dummy half for 60 minutes against the Dogs, set to start in his preferred five-eighth spot.
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Knights coach Adam O'Brien said he will be keeping his options open with how he will use Crossland off the bench.
"Randy [Randall] will definitely be starting at hooker and we'll see how he goes there and how long he can last,"O'Brien told the Newcastle Herald.
"There is the option of bringing Phoenix on and playing him out of dummy half or possibly switching Kurt [Mann] there and playing Phoenix at 6 when we bring Randy off. Either way, I'm really confident he'll handle it and he deserves his chance.
"From what I've seen of him in a few of the scrimmages we've had, his contact is really good defensively so that won't be an issue for him and he has a good strong kicking game."
O'Brien said the fact Randall handled himself so well against Penrith in his only top grade appearance gives him plenty of confidence when it comes to backing that up against the Storm.
"He made 70 odd tackles that day and worked his butt off so I've got no worries at all with him coming back in,"he said. "And that allows Kurt to stay at 6 where he has been so good for us all season."
O'Brien is expecting a big response from his side after their poor performance in the wet against the Bulldogs.
The Storm have reeled off five straight wins since losing to Penrith in round six including victories over Sydney Roosters and Canberra. They proved too good for the Knights when the two sides met in round 6 at Gosford.
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