Vodafone Junior Warriors coach Stacey Jones has been forced to make significant changes to his line-up for today’s sixth-round NYC clash against Canterbury-Bankstown at Eden Park (1.40pm kick-off; match day sponsor: SKYCITY).
With winger Metia Lisati called up to the New South Wales Cup side and centre Lafu Feagaiga again ruled out with injury, Jones has gone for a new centres duo.
Braxton Stanley was named to start there but now moves back out onto the wing – where he has been playing this season – while Ken Maumalo and Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard, both originally selected in the back row, come into the centres.
Kouma Samson is shifted from prop to loose forward while Ofahiki Ogden comes into the second row and Toafofoa Sipley returns to start at prop.
The Vodafone Junior Warriors are seeking their third win of the season. They put two victories together before falling 26-32 to Cronulla last Saturday.
VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS v CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN
Eden Park, Auckland
1.40pm, Sunday, April 13
Referee: Matt Noyen and Ziggy Przeklaski-Adamski
FIVE KEY FEATURES
#1 BRAD ABBEY | The 17-year-old Abbey (he doesn’t turn 18 until the end of the year) has made an impressive start to his NYC career playing in every game this year. He has just been signed to the end of 2016.
#2 ADAM TUIMAVAVE-GERRARD | Tuimavave-Gerrard is the fix-it man. Thgis week he moves from the back row into the centres. He topped the side’s tackle count with 34 against the Sharks last week.
#3 KEN MAUMALO | Like Tuimavave-Gerrard, he’s proving to be an option in both the centres and the back row. He had a busy day in the centres last week making more than 200 metres and laying on a try.
#4 JAMES TAYLOR | The tough front rower returns from a foot injury which forced him to miss most of the Wests Tigers encounter and sidelined him last week. He’s a key factor off the bench.
#5 TOAFOFOA SIPLEY | The big forward has been missing the last few weeks but earns a recall as a result of the line-up reshuffle. Another St Paul’s College product, he gives the side real size.
VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS
1 BRAD ABBEY
2 TOMAS PATELESIO
12 KEN MAUMALO
13 ADAM TUIMAVAVE-GERRARD
3 BRAXTON STANLEY
6 MAFOA’AEATA HINGANO
7 MASON LINO (c)
8 SAM LISONE (c)
9 KURT ROBINSON
17 TOAFOFOA SIPLEY
11 MICHAEL KI
22 OFAHIKI OGDEN
10 KOUMA SAMSON
14 NATHANIEL ROACHE
15 JAMES BELL
16 JAMES TAYLOR
20 IULIO AFOA
23 PAUL ULBERG
COACH: STACEY JONES