Levi dumped for Wests Tigers clash

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

Levi dumped for Wests Tigers clash Danny Levi
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Luke Yates

TweetFacebookDanny Levi’sroller coaster season has taken another dramatic nose-dive with the Newcastle Knights back-up hooker dumped for Saturday’s clash againstthe Wests Tigers.

While he was named on the bench for the game earlier this week, theNewcastle Heraldhas been told Levi will be at Campbelltown Stadium playing NSW Cup against Western Suburbs as the Knights prepare to face the Tigers inTamworth.

Hard-working middle forward Luke Yates will get his first crack in the NRL this season as Levi’s replacement off the bench at a sold-out Scully Park with co-captain Jamie Buhrer to deputise in the hooking role if starting number nine Slade Griffin needs a spell.

Danny Levi

Levi’s axing is another major blow tothe 22-year-old hooker, who made his Test debut for New Zealand during the World Cup late last year and was expected to establish himself as the club’s number one dummy half this season.

Instead, he failed to win aplace in the top 17 for the season-opener against Manly with coach Nathan Brown preferring to go withStorm recruit Slade Griffin as starting hooker and Brock Lamb on the bench.

Brown claimed at the time his decision to overlook Levi forLamb was not form-related but more to do with team balance.

Levi ended upspending the first month playing in the NSW Cup before hewas finallypromoted to the bench for the Brisbane game in round five.

But his reprieve has been short-lived.

While he made 31 tackles off the bench against Melbourne, his running game was negated with Levi dartingjustonce fromdummy half for a 10 metre gain.

Yates, who featured in 17 NRL games for the club last season, has been consistently among the Knights’best performers in NSW Cup with Brown insisting over the past few weeks he has been close to top grade selection.

Luke Yates

He travelled with the squad to Melbourne last week and while he didn’t play, it is no surprise he has been given an opportunity against the Tigers.

In another significant change, prop Daniel Saifiti, who wasn’t originally named in the 17-man squad, will likely start the game with Jacob Lillyman out.

Lillyman will remainin Newcastle to be with his partner, who is expecting the couples’second child any day now.

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