Knights sweat on Origin stars

Newcastle is sweating on its Origin quartet backing up for tonight's National Rugby League clash with competition leaders Penrith at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

Andrew Johns, Danny Buderus, Timana Tahu and Matthew Gidley will play their second match in two days following Wednesday night's final interstate clash of the season. Johns battled the flu in the lead-up and won't be fully fit, while winger Tahu has an inflamed ankle and hooker Danny Buderus is also a little worse for wear.

The Panthers are chasing a 13th win from their past 14 starts and without any Origin reps, they'll be fresh and ready to go.