League fans pumped for Wests Tigers-Newcastle Knights game coming to Tamworth

Along with the likes of Josh Reynolds, Elijah Taylor and Benji Marshall, Tamworth will get to see Nathan Ross, Kalyn Ponga and Sione Mata'utia in action at Scully Park next year.

With the release of the 2018 NRL draw on Thursday, it was revealed Wests Tigers would be taking on the Newcastle Knights in Tamworth on Saturday, April 21.

The announcement drew a massive response from Tamworthians on social media. One of those excited locals was Dilan Bateman.

Bateman is a lifelong Newcastle Knights fan.

He still remembers their 2001 triumph despite being about six years old at the time.

The Tamworth native – who is now based in Darwin but has confirmed he will make the trip back for the game – is keen to see the new-look Knights, Ponga in particular, in action up close.

“I’m pretty pumped for it. I’m looking forward to the atmosphere of the game,” Bateman said.

“I’ve watched the Knights play here twice [in trials].

“The atmosphere was good but at this game it will be better, I believe.”

There’s also the likes Shaun Saunders who can’t wait for the match.

The word die-hard comes to mind when Saunders talks about his beloved Knights.

He loves the Knights so much he got a tattoo of the team’s logo six years ago.

“I've always been a passionate supporter, so I finally decided to make it permanent,” Saunders said.

“I've been to previous Knights trial games in Tamworth but to play for the two competition points will be extra special.”

On the other side of the coin is Wests Tigers tragic Cameron Hughes.

The lifelong fan has followed the Tigers since the mid-80s, back when they were the Balmain Tigers, and gets to several away games each year.

“Every year, me and my daughter go down to the game in Newcastle,” Hughes said.

“I usually get to Sydney and the Gold Coast to watch games. I do travel a fair bit.”

Hughes is looking forward to not having to travel hours and hours to watch a live NRL game.

“It’s absolutely excellent. It saves me so many dramas with it being basically around the corner,” Hughes said.

“I’ll be getting tickets as soon as they are available for me and my daughter.”

The Knights are also keen for a trip to Tamworth.

“We are particularly excited to be playing a match in Tamworth against the Wests Tigers next season,” Knights director and CEO The Wests Group Philip Gardner said.

“We have previously played trial matches in Tamworth and know the town and surrounding areas will welcome an NRL match.

“We have a great supporter base within the region and are looking forward to the opportunity to play in Tamworth in 2018.”

There is no confirmed date for when tickets for the match will go on sale.

However, it is expected they will be able to be purchased from the middle of November.

The round seven match will start at 5.30pm on Saturday, April 21 at Scully Park.