Manu Vatuvei. NRL Rugby League. Vodafone Warriors training session at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. Tuesday 18 March 2014. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/www.photosport.co.nz

NRL PREVIEW RD #3 | Changes made

Manu Vatuvei and Sione Lousi (pictured) are both confirmed for the Vodafone Warriors's third-round NRL clash against the Cowboys in Townsville.

 

Konrad Hurrell has been confirmed on the bench while Lousi starts in the back row with Feleti Mateo to be injected from the interchange.

 

Mateo joins Jacob Lillyman, Suaia Matagi and Hurrell on the bench with John Palavi the 18th man.

 

The Vodafone Warriors are seeking their first win in Townsville since 2002.

 

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS v NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS

1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville

8.00pm (11.00pm NZT), Saturday, March 22

Referees: Ashley Klein and Adam Gee

 

FIVE KEY FEATURES

 

#1 KONRAD HURRELL | Hurrell started the season turning out for the Vodafone Warriors in the first two rounds of the New South Wales Cup. After being named players’ player of the day he was named in the NRL squad for the trip to Townsville. Confirmed to start from the bench, he has scored 25 tries in 37 NRL games.

 

#2 PLAYING IN TOWNSVILLE | The club had fair success in Townsville in the early years, winning four out of six from 1995-2002 but the big 50-20 win in 2002 is the Vodafone Warriors’ last win there going into tonight’s encounter.

 

#3 MANU VATUVEI | Illness kept The Beast out last week. The Vodafone Warriors will welcome back the big man’s impact and work rate, especially the way he brings the ball back from their own end.

 

#4 SIONE LOUSI | After playing in the opening round against Parramatta – his first NRL game since 2012 – Lousi was on bereavement leave last week following his grandmother’s death. Tonight he’s in the starting line-up, joining Simon Mannering and Jayson Bukuya in the back row.

 

#5 JACOB LILLYMAN | It’s always a big night when ‘The Bull’ has the chance to play against his old club in Townsville. Now in his sixth season with the Vodafone Warriors, he comes into the match in good form gaining 120 metres against the Eels and more than 150 against the Dragons.

 

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS

 

1 SAM TOMKINS

2 GLEN FISIIAHI

3 DANE NIELSEN

4 JEROME ROPATI

5 MANU VATUVEI

6 CHAD TOWNSEND

7 SHAUN JOHNSON

8 SAM RAPIRA

9 NATHAN FRIEND

10 BEN MATULINO

11 JAYSON BUKUYA

12 SIMON MANNERING (c)

16 SIONE LOUSI

Interchange:

13 FELETI MATEO

14 JACOB LILLYMAN

15 SUAIA MATAGI

20 KONRAD HURRELL

 

HEAD COACH: MATTHEW ELLIOTT

 

 

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS

 

1 MICHAEL MORGAN

2 KYLE FELDT

3 BRENT TATE

4 KANE LINNETT

5 ANTONIO WINTERSTEIN

6 JOHNATHAN THURSTON (c)

7 ROBERT LUI

8 MATT SCOTT (c)

14 RORY KOSTJASYN

10 JAMES TAMOU

11 GAVIN COOPER

12 JASON TAUMALOLO

13 TARIQ SIMS

Interchange:

9 RAY THOMPSON

15 GLEN HALL

16 ASHTON SIMS

17 SCOTT BOLTON

 

COACH: PAUL GREEN

 

 

BETTING – WWW.TAB.CO.NZ

 

FIND ODDS FOR VODAFONE WARRIORS v NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS

 

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE ODDS

 

Head to head:

Vodafone Warriors $2.90, Cowboys $1.37

 

 

TV COVERAGE

 

SKY SPORT 2: Coverage starts at 11.00pm NZT.