Rampaging prop Paul Tuli has been brought onto the bench for today's NYC clash against Melbourne. Image | www.photosport.co.nz

Vodafone Junior Warrios coach Kelvin Wright has made a change in the centres and two on the bench for today’s fifth-round NYC game against the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park (2.45pm kick-off local time; 4.45pm NZT).

With Marata Niukore called up to make his first appearance for the club’s New South Wales Cup side yesterday, Levi McBirney starts in the centres.

McBirney, who played First XV rugby union with Westlake Boys’ High School, made his NYC debut on the wing last weekend, scoring a try in the 40-14 win over Brisbane.

He’ll line up on the left edge today.

The rest of the starting line-up is unchanged but Wright has juggled his interchange.

Of the original selection hooker Sheldon Pitama and prop Amoni Tufui remain while Roman Tuhimata and Joseph Price make way for front rower Paul Tuli and back rower Mattais Heimuli.

Tuli played in the opening match of the season but missed the last three while Heimuli’s only previous NYC appearance was his debut against the Raiders in Canberra last season.

The Vodafone Junior Warriors have won their last four matches on end to lie fourth on the table; victory today would take them to second pending the outcome of the encounter between Penrith and North Queensland.

Melbourne is 10th with two wins and two losses.

 

MELBOURNE STORM v VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS 

AAMI Park, Melbourne

2.45pm, Monday, April 06

Referee: Michael Gordon

 

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS

1 BRAD ABBEY

2 TOMAS AOAKE

3 SEMISI TYRELL

18 LEVI McBIRNEY

5 PAUL ULBERG

6 ATA HINGANO

7 ERIN CLARK

8 BUNTY AFOA

9 NATHANIEL ROACHE

10 TOAFOFOA SIPLEY (c)

11 OFAHIKI OGDEN

12 MATIU LOVE-HENRY

13 JAZZ TEVAGA

Interchange:

14 SHELDON PITAMA

16 AMONI TUFUI

20 PAUL TULI

22 MATTAIS HEIMULI

COACH: KELVIN WRIGHT