Star Knights Ponga, Hastings named for Raiders showdown

Newcastle have named superstar fullback Kalyn Ponga and halfback Jackson Hastings for their elimination final against Canberra in an enormous boost for the Knights before Sunday’s clash.

Ponga (shoulder) and Hastings (ankle) are both tipped to feature for the red-hot Knights but will be monitored throughout the week, both having trained with the side on Tuesday morning.

They are set to replace Lachie Miller and Adam Clune respectively, both named on the reserves list after strong performances against St George Illawarra last weekend.

Miller, who’ll slot back into the lineup should Ponga fall short, said even he hoped the superstar talent would get the opportunity to continue his stellar campaign.

"Everyone wants him back, me included, but if he's not and if he doesn't pull up, whatever does happen I'll be good to go,” he told AAP.

“But I'd much rather him play this weekend, he's playing some pretty good footy.

"Everyone's seen the way he's played for us the past nine weeks.

“It's some of the best footy I've seen anyone play in the NRL so in terms of what's best for the team moving forward, obviously we want him in there but if I'm called upon I'm pretty confident I can do a job.”

The Raiders named James Schiller to replace suspended Sebastian Kris, but Ricky Stuart is persisting with his recent experiment of playing star Jack Wighton in the centres.

That combination sees Matt Frawley partner Jamal Fogarty in the halves.

Elsewhere, Melbourne will use superstar fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen off the bench in their qualifying final against Brisbane, with Nick Meaney named to continue in the No.1 role.

There’s no room for centre Justin Olam who's again been dropped while halfback Jahrome Hughes is named to return from a knee complaint.

Brisbane will get injured duo Adam Reynolds and Pat Carrigan back with Kevin Walters dropping winger Corey Oates.

The 201-game veteran will be replaced on the left wing by Jesse Arthars, with Keenan Palasia beating out Martin Taupau and Corey Jensen for the last bench spot.

Cronulla have named Connor Tracey at fullback for Saturday’s elimination against the Sydney Roosters, although the Sharks still have a decision to make in the No.1 role.

While Tracey is clear to play after a knee knock, fellow custodian Will Kennedy is lurking on the extended reserves list for what would be his return from a hamstring injury.

The Roosters have named star centre Joey Manu after he missed last weekend’s win against South Sydney with a hamstring.

And the Warriors have named inspirational skipper Tohu Harris to face Penrith in their qualifying final on Saturday, defying fears a back knock would keep him sidelined.

Bench prop Jazz Tevaga is also back from a hamstring injury in another boost with Te Maire Martin picked to pair with Shaun Johnson in the halves.

Jack Cogger will again play No.6 for Penrith in Jarome Luai’s absence, with Mitch Kenny and Scott Sorensen both returning from leg injuries.

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