Junior Warriors' Matiu Love-Henry in action. Holden Cup Pre Season, Junior Warriors v Pt Chev Pirates at North Harbour Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday 9th February 2014. Photo: photosport.co.nz

The Vodafone Junior Warriors will be without one of their most experienced players in back rower Kouma Samson for their second-round NYC clash against St George Illawarra at Eden Park today (2.40pm kick-off).

 

Samson, who made his 19th NYC appearance last weekend, has been ruled out with a corked thigh.

 

Utility Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard comes off the bench to start at loose forward in what will be his 35th NYC game.

 

Added to the bench for his debut is Papakura junior Jazz Tevaga. Also making his debut is St Paul’s College product Bunty Afoa. The rest of the side is as named on Tuesday.

 

 

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS v ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS

 

Eden Park, Auckland

2.40pm, Saturday, March 15

Referee: Shane Rehm

 

 

FIVE KEY FEATURES

 

#1 SAM LISONE | He played every one of the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ 28 games last season but started the 2014 campaign by lining up for the Vodafone Warriors in the New South Wales Cup last weekend. His experience helps bolster a side which was short on more seasoned players last week.

 

#2 ADAM TUIMAVAVE-GERRARD | Another of the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ so-called old hands returns from injury. Tuimavave-Gerrard can play in the centres of the back row as required. He scored 10 tries last season including four in one game.

 

#3 BUNTY AFOA AND JAZZ TEVAGA | Two highly promising Auckland juniors signed by the Vodafone Warriors both make their NYC debuts today. Afoa, a back rower or prop, is another St Paul’s College product while hooker Tevaga is a Papakura Sea Eagles junior.

  

#4 MATIU LOVE-HENRY (pictured) | Out of Taupo, Love-Henry had an exceptional season in 2012 leading to a contract with the Vodafone Warriors. He missed the grand final but was a key contributor for Point Chevalier in its premiership-winning season in the Auckland club competition.

 

#5 METIA LISATI | Impressed in his debut season in 2013 but missed the season opener with injury last week. He had a background playing football before trying his hand at rugby league.

 

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS

 

1 BRAD ABBEY

2 METIA LISATI

3 LAFU FEAGAIGA

4 KEN MAUMALO

5 BRAXTON STANLEY

6 NATHANIEL ROACHE

7 MASON LINO (c)

8 SAM LISONE (c)

9 KURT ROBINSON

10 JAMES TAYLOR

11 MICHAEL KI

12 MATIU LOVE-HENRY

14 ADAM TUIMAVAVE-GERRARD

Interchange:

15 BUNTY AFOA

16 TOAFOFOA SIPLEY

17 JAMES BELL

18 JAZZ TEVAGA