Centre David Fusitu’a will return from injury while hooker Nathaniel Roache will make his New South Wales Cup debut when the Vodafone Warriors host Canterbury-Bankstown in Saturday’s 13th-round clash at Mount Smart Stadium No 2 (1.00pm kick-off; free entry).
In three earlier appearances this season Fusitu’a scored five tries as well as another try in his only NRL outing of the year.
Roache gains promotion after impressing throughout the season for the club’s NYC side; he was named the NYC players’ player of the day last weekend.
Coach Stacey Jones has been forced to make a number of changes to his side.
He has lost utility Dominique Peyroux and wing Ken Maumalo who both travelled to Perth with the club’s NRL squad and prop Toafofoa Sipley, while named on the bench, has been ruled out with a knee injury which forced him off in his debut last weekend.
Charlie Gubb, co-captain last week, will start in the front row this week while James Bell and David Bhana, the other co-captain against the Knights, start in the back row with Raymond Faitala-Mariner.
Faitala-Mariner was named the players’ player of the day after his two-try performance against Newcastle. He produced 194 metres from 16 runs with three line breaks, an astonishing 13 tackle breaks, three off loads and 25 tackles.
With the club’s NRL and NYC sides playing in Australia on Saturday, the NSW Cup side will take centre stage bidding for a sixth straight home win so far this season.
• Gates open at 12.45pm on Saturday (kick-off 1.00pm)
• Entry is free
• Patrons enter via O’Rourke Road with parking available outside the venue
VODAFONE WARRIORS v CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN
Mount Smart Stadium No 2, Auckland
1.00pm, Saturday, June 06
Referee: Shane Rehm
1 SAM COOK
2 VILIAMI KAVEINGA
3 ARDEN McCARTHY
4 DAVID FUSITU’A
5 PAUL ULBERG
6 API PEWHAIRANGI
7 MASON LINO
8 CHARLIE GUBB
9 NATHANIEL ROACHE
10 NATHANIEL PETERU
11 RAYMOND FAITALA-MARINER
12 JAMES BELL
13 DAVID BHANA
14 STEDMAN LEFAU
15 TOAFOFOA SIPLEY
16 ZAC TIPPINS
17 JARROD TUA
COACH: STACEY JONES