Cessnock junior Brayden Musgrove will make his NRL debut on Friday night against Cronulla with the Goannas premiership-winner one of four changes from the Knights squad humiliated by the Titans on the Gold Coast.
As expected, interchange prop Jacob Saifiti [suspended], five-eighth Kurt Mann [concussion] and centre Bradman Best [elbow injury] all return after missing last Saturday's 42-16 thrashing.
Out-of-sorts centre Gehamat Shibasaki has made way for Best, Mann returns allowing Connor Watson, who filled the five-eighth role against Gold Coast, to return to the forward pack at lock while Jacob Saifiti will resume his normal role coming off the bench.
But in a further change, winger Starford To'a has been dumped with Musgrove 23, to debut on the wing against the Sharks at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Musgrove only returned from broken ribs in NSW Cup last weekend but clearly did enough to impress Knights coach Adam O'Brien and will get his first shot in front of home fans.
O'Brien admitted the return of Best, Mann and Jacob Saifiti will be a big boost to his side after three straight defeats.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing Braddie [Best] back with us and I thought we really missed Jacob coming onto the field last week and obviously Kurt being out there with Greeny [Blake Green] and KP [Kalyn Ponga] allows Connor to play his [lock] role,' O'Brien said.
O'Brien said he expects a reaction from his squad after the Titans debacle.
"We reviewed when we arrive back [home] and we addressed some stuff but unfortunately, we have addressed some things over the last three weeks and I'm probably getting sick of addressing, I want to see them actioned," he said.
"There's things [out of Titans game] that you just can't accept. I get some media around how passive or how aggressive I can be on that but they are on effort things, they are not on talent things.
"It's about guys taking lazy options and we can't accept that and I felt we had too much of that. I thought the Titans to their credit started way more aggressive than us and they attached some high execution to the aggression and they out-did us in effort areas.
"They are the three areas of the game you don't want to get beaten in. That's what I was most disappointed in definitely."
On the Sharks and the saga around the future of their coach John Morris, O'Brien said: "Worrying about how the opposition is going to turn up is not going to help our performance from last week or this week.
"I think any coach feels for Johnny Morris at the moment but I don't know the ins and outs of it all and it doesn't really help this footy team at the moment so I'll just get on with it."
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