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Wests Tigers Head Coach Ivan Cleary has named an unchanged 21-man squad for his side's Round 21 clash against the Newcastle Knights this Friday night.

Playing in the club's first ever 6:00pm Friday game, Cleary has named the same 21 players as he did in Round 20, with Chris McQueen returning to the reserves list after playing off the bench last week.

Robbie Rochow has been named on the bench in jersey 16 in the only change to the team that went down last week to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs — the loss keeping the ninth-placed Wests Tigers four points behind the eighth-placed New Zealand Warriors with five games remaining in the regular season.

Michael Chee Kam will once again start in the back row in what will be his 50th NRL appearance, while Moses Mbye will play game 99 in his first-grade career following his mid-season switch to Wests Tigers.

McQueen, Pita Godinet and Malakai Watene-Zelezniak have been named as reserves alongside Jacob Liddle following the hooker's impressive recent form in the Intrust Super Premiership competition.

Elijah Taylor will formally captain the team against the Knights as Wests Tigers look to keep their finals hopes alive with their first Friday night victory since the opening round of the 2017 season.

For the Knights, Coach Nathan Brown has confirmed a number of changes with former Wests Tigers forward JJ Felise selected to make his club debut on the bench — replacing Jacob Lillyman in the squad.

Connor Watson returns at five-eighth after missing last week's loss to injury while Kalyn Ponga has been named as expected at fullback despite reports of an injured ankle hampering the young gun.

Herman Ese'ese returns to the run-on side while Corey Denniss replaces Nathan Ross in the centres.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Knights is number 1 Kalyn Ponga
    Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Moses Mbye
  • Winger for Knights is number 2 Ken Sio
    Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
  • Centre for Knights is number 3 Sione Mata'utia
    Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Esan Marsters
  • Centre for Knights is number 4 Cory Denniss
    Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Kevin Naiqama
  • Winger for Knights is number 5 Shaun Kenny-Dowall
    Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Corey Thompson
  • Five-Eighth for Knights is number 20 Jack Cogger
    Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Benji Marshall
  • Halfback for Knights is number 7 Mitchell Pearce
    Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks

Forwards

  • Prop for Knights is number 10 Daniel Saifiti
    Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Russell Packer
  • Hooker for Knights is number 9 Danny Levi
    Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Robbie Farah
  • Prop for Knights is number 16 Josh King
    Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Ben Matulino
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Lachlan Fitzgibbon
    2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Michael Chee-Kam
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Mitchell Barnett
    2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 13 Elijah Taylor
  • Lock for Knights is number 13 Aidan Guerra
    Lock for Wests Tigers is number 17 Matthew Eisenhuth

Interchange

  • Interchange for Knights is number 8 Herman Ese'ese
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luke Garner
  • Interchange for Knights is number 14 Jamie Buhrer
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Alex Twal
  • Interchange for Knights is number 15 Chris Heighington
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Sauaso Sue
  • Interchange for Knights is number 17 JJ Collins
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 18 Jacob Liddle