Clarence Valley connections in round one NRL ‘snore fest’
NRL: While it seems many rugby league fans will be tuning out from league action on Sunday night, the Clarence Valley will be tuning in.
It has already been dubbed by some as the match of the cellar-dwellers. But when the Gold Coast Titans host the Newcastle Knights at CBus Super Stadium it will possibly be the most important contest for local league connections.
Former Grafton Ghost Anthony Don will again line up in his favoured wing position for the Titans after finishing last season in the casualty ward.
Feeling refreshed after a full off-season the Titans winger will be looking for a good start to 2016 against the Knights as he hopes to cement his position on the flank.
Former Lower Clarence Magpie Luke Douglas will also be in attendance but won't be playing for the Titans as he serves a one match ban for a careless high tackle in a trial match against the Eels last month.
Douglas told News Limited he was devastated to be missing round one of the season which is unsurprising for a player who holds the record for most consecutive games in a row at 215.
Meanwhile Grafton-born five-eighth Tyrone Roberts will come up against his former club in his first NRL outing in Titans colours.
On the other side of the field stands another former Lower Clarence Magpie in Nathan Brown.
The coach of the Newcastle Knights makes his return to coaching in the NRL after a successful stint in the UK Super League and a year as a footballing consultant for the Melbourne Storm.
The son of Lower Clarence and South Grafton Rebels supercoach John Brown has his work cut out for him this year to turn the Knights' fortunes around after they were wooden spooners last season.
He has made it clear early on that he is changing the system at the Novocastrian club by naming five debutantes to start Sunday.
Many league pundits have labelled the match between the two clubs as 15th vs 16th with little expectations for fortunes in their rebuilding seasons.