Knights coach Adam O'Brien has handed the halfback playmaking reins to youngster Phoenix Crossland after confirmation veteran Blake Green will miss Saturday's crucial clash against Canberra with a cracked rib.
Green left the field in serious discomfort in the second half of the 38-4 loss to the Roosters on Saturday night after copping a late hit from Roosters winger Matt Ikuvalu following a clearing kick.
He is expected to be sidelined for at least a couple of weeks.
With Mitchell Pearce [torn pec] out until at least round 13, Crossland 20, was named in the number 7 jersey for the first time in the top grade for the game against the Raiders in Wagga.
A former NSW Blues junior halfback, it will be Crossland's ninth NRL game but just his second this season and only his second starting appearance overall.
He played five-eighth outside Pearce in the absence of Kurt Mann when the Knights beat the Warriors back in round 2. His other seven games have come off the bench and largely as a make-shift back-up hooker last season.
O'Brien has resisted the temptation to make major changes from the squad that surrendered so meekly to the Roosters.
Winger Hymel Hunt returns from injury to replace Starford To'a but the expected return of wing partner Edrick Lee has been delayed a further week.
He was in line to return last week against the Roosters but was given another week to recover from a fractured foot he suffered at pre-season training.
That has now been extended for a further week with Brayden Musgrove retaining his place on the left wing.
Hunt didn't play in the side's past two losses to the Panthers and Roosters after straining his hamstring in the opening six minutes against Cronulla in round 6.
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