July 21, 2024

Team List: Warriors welcome back seven players | Warriors

While seven players are back in contention veteran halfback Shaun Johnson remains on the injured list for the One New Zealand Warriors’ 14th-round NRL encounter with North Queensland at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville on Saturday (5.30pm kick-off local time; 7.30pm NZT).

Of the 11 players unavailable for the win over the Dolphins in the Indigenous Round, five return to the starting lineup.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad resumes his regular role at fullback with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak moving back to the wing replacing Edward Kosi while Rocco Berry, a late withdrawal for the match against the Dolphins, comes back for replacement Moala Graham-Taufa.

Prop Addin Fonua-Blake and hooker Wayde Egan reclaim their usual spots with captain Tohu Harris back from a two-game absence at loose forward.

Named on the interchange is back rower Kurt Capewell, who was out for a month with a calf injury, and fullback – and new father – Taine Tuaupiki is on the extended bench.

It was anticipated Johnson would also be back from his pectoral injury but he is now set to return for the round 15 contest against Melbourne at Go Media Stadium on June 15.

The comebacks have resulted in a major reshuffling of the starting pack.

For the match against the Dolphins, the Warriors used a front row of Marata Niukore, Paul Roache and Bunty Afoa, Jackson Ford and Mitchell Barnett in the second row and Dylan Walker at loose forward.

Fonua-Blake regains his spot with Niukore moving to the second row, Egan is in for the injured Roache (ankle), regular second rower Ford is shifted to prop for Afoa and Harris comes in for Walker with only Barnett in the same position he filled against the Dolphins.

With so many reinforcements returning, head coach Andrew Webster has been able to pair both Walker and Jazz Tevaga to provide double-edged impact off the interchange.

The first time they were used in tandem from the bench was in the corresponding away match against the Cowboys in round three last season when the Warriors won 26-12.

Both sides come into the match in the midst or form revivals.

The One New Zealand Warriors overcame multiple personnel issues and a four-match losing streak to stun three-time premier Penrith 22-20 in the Magic Round and then the fourth-placed Dolphins 24-20 in round 12 ahead of their first bye last weekend.

The Cowboys lost five games on end but have won their last three against South Sydney, the Wests Tigers and the Sydney Roosters, the last an 18-16 away win on Sunday when both sides were without multiple State of Origin players.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *