SEASON OVER: Daniel Saifiti requires shoulder surgery and will miss out on representing Fiji at the World Cup in October. Picture: AAP DANIEL Saifiti’s dream of playing at a World Cup is over –for now.
The in-form Knights front-rower consulted a specialist on Tuesday and requires surgery after disclocating his shoulder in the 46-28 loss to Canberra on Friday.
The 21-year-old had hoped to play in the final-round against Cronulla at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday before representing Fiji at the World Cup starting late October.
Instead, he will have a shoulder reconstruction within the next fortnight and be restricted to light duties when the Knights return to training in November.
Daniel and twin brother Jacob were among Fiji’sbest in a 26-24 loss to Tonga in May, and were shaping as key figures for the Bati in the end-of-season tournament.
Jacobwill take his brother’s place in the starting side against the Sharks.
Tyrone Amey, who played for Maitland against Central in the Newcastle Rugby League earlier this season, will make his NRL debut from the bench in the only change from the loss to the Raiders.The 21-year-old lock scored a brilliant solo try for the Knights reserve grade team in a 30-24 win over Wentworthville a fortnight ago.
Former n Schoolboy Pasami Saulo has been named on anextended bench.
BIG MAN SOLO TRY!!!! pic.twitter成都夜总会招聘/pmLskbwW5P
— froGGG! (@WallyFrogmore) August 19, 2017
However, the Knights have again erred on the side of caution with Sione Mata’utia.
The skippersufferedathird game-ending head knock of the season against Melbourne 10 days ago.
He satisfied the return-to-play protocols but, after consultingneurologist Dr Andrew Gardner, it was deemedin Mata’utia’sbest interests to sit out the final two games.
Frustrated,Mata’utia pushed hard for a return this week but the Knights have stuck to the safety-first policy.
“Sione desperately wants to play,” coach Nathan Brown said prior to naming the team.“He has passed all the tests he needs to pass, but we need to work out if it is the right thing for Sione.He will sit down and talk to the specialists. If DrLevi and Dr Gardnerthink it is fine for him to play, we will name him. If theysay he is not fine, we won’t name him.”
The visit by the Sharks,as well as Old Boy’s day, will be the final appearance for the Knights by a number of players.
Dane Gagai (South Sydney), Mickey Paea (Hull) and Joe Wardle (Castleford) are confirmed departures and Peter Mata’utia and Lachlan Fitzgibbon are uncontracted.
For Gagai, it spells the end of six yearsin Newcastle in which he has progressed from a promising prospect into aMaroons Origin star.
“It would be a great for us to have a win to farewell Gags,” Brown said. “There are many numbers of players who it is their last home game. It would be great to send them off with a win.”
Brown said Gagai hadbeen a “shining light for the club, not only on and off the field, but in the reparena as well”.
“We are quite hopeful that Dane’s Origin form will take him into the Test side at the end of the year,” Brown said.
Asked if Gagai should be in the n squad for the World Cup, Brown said: “It’s not for me to pick theside. I don’t have the Origin and World Cup coaches telling me what side I should be picking.What I do know is that he served Queensland very well in two Origin-series wins. I’m sure that will carry some weight with Mal Meninga and the selectors.”