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Knights five-eighth Jake Clifford.

Knights playmaker Jake Clifford expects his former side to tweak a few calls and set plays in preparation for their trip to McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday night.

Clifford joined the Knights last month in a mid-season switch that enabled former Bronco Tom Dearden to link with the Cowboys effective immediately.

The 23-year-old's combination with Mitchell Pearce got underway against the Warriors a fortnight ago and showed promising signs in their 10-6 win.

However, Clifford's next task is taking on his old teammates and the club that brought him through its junior systems to the NRL.

It was only a month ago Clifford shed tears following his final game in an emotional end to his time in North Queensland.

"I'm excited for the challenge to get one over them," Clifford said on Tuesday.

"It's going to be a challenge, they've got a new combination so that could bring a whole different playing style.

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"They're going to be coming down here to prove a point and get the job done. I know all the boys and how they play.

"I'm not too sure how much they want to change but different variations on some things. A lot of teams these days are doing the same plays, it's just about how well you run them."

Clifford only returned to Townsville last week to be with his pregnant partner Stephanie, who has remained in North Queensland for the past month while the Knights playmaker gets settled in Newcastle.

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The pair were due to reunite in the Hunter ahead of Saturday night's game but border restrictions, lockdowns and the threat of COVID-19 could keep them separated for a little longer.

"Hopefully it's not going to be for long," Clifford said.

"She's grown a bit more with the baby, it was exciting to see her and be around her again.

"She was supposed to come down this weekend but that might change with Townsville now going into a lockdown for a couple of days.

"It's happened quickly. Overnight we got a message to say we were going back into lockdown.

"It is what it is, we went through it all last year and know how to handle it."

A win over the Cowboys could push the Knights further up the Telstra Premiership ladder and into top-eight territory ahead of the side's scheduled bye in round 17.

After a six-win and nine-loss start to the year, the condensed ladder in the bottom eight has kept the Knights in the finals race.

"This weekend is also a big weekend with the bye [coming up], to get more troops after that," Clifford said.

"Hopefully get Friz (Tyson Frizell) and Braddy (Bradman Best) back. This back end of the year is going to be crucial for us."

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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