Bodene Thompson returns from injury and Sione Lousi has been recalled for the Vodafone Warriors’ final home match of the season against the North Queensland Cowboys at Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday (7.30pm kick-off; match day theme: Members’ Appreciation Day; game day sponsor: Woodstock).

Thompson has recovered from the ankle injury which ruled him out of the last three matches against Cronulla, St George Illawarra and Penrith while Lousi has been brought up from the New South Wales Cup side after last appearing in the NRL in the 20th-round loss to Manly on July 25.

The 25-year-old Lousi has been named as a starting second rower for his fifth NRL appearance this year and the 47th of his career while Thompson, who played in each of the first 18 games of the campaign, is on the bench.

They’re in the side for prop Sam Rapira and second rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner. Rapira is serving a one-match suspension for a dangerous throw charge in the Penrith encounter while Faitala-Mariner will turn out for the NSW Cup side against the Panthers.

“It’s good being able to call on the experience Bodene and Sione give us,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden.

“We’ve lost even more experience with Sam being suspended and the fact is we were already light in that area in any case. We need the experience to balance the number of young players we have in our side.

“Bodene has had a great season for us and Sione had a terrific game for the NSW Cup side at the weekend.”

The club’s members and departing players will feature strongly in the final outing for the year at Mount Smart Stadium.

Rapira’s suspension has denied the 10-season NRL veteran a farewell appearance in front of family, friends and members at Mount Smart Stadium before he leaves the NRL to finish his playing career with Huddersfield in the English Super League.

Rapira, who has played 173 NRL games for the club since 2006, will be acknowledged as a departing player after Saturday night’s game along with others who are also finishing up this season. Four of them are lining up against the Cowboys – Sam Tomkins, Dominique Peyroux, Chad Townsend and Nathan Friend.

The Vodafone Warriors face another stern test in the third-placed Cowboys as they seek to snap a run of five losses since beating Melbourne on July 12.

“It doesn’t get any easier for us. There’s no question we’re doing it tough at the moment in what has been a disappointing season for everyone associated with the club,” said McFadden.

“The Cowboys might have lost their last two games but they’ve been playing fantastic football this year and in Johnathan Thurston they have the best player in the game today.”

The match brings together the two clubs marking their 20th anniversary seasons since joining the competition in 1995.

When they met in Townsville in the seventh round, North Queensland broke the Vodafone Warriors’ hearts with a last-gasp 28-24 victory.

Overall the Vodafone Warriors have an 18-16 edge in 34 clashes between the two sides but at home they have their best record against any of the other 15 clubs boasting 13 wins and five losses in 18 matches. Of the last the eight meetings since 2006 the Vodafone Warriors have lost only once – 12-34 in 2009 – and have won the last four 20-18 last year, 35-18 in 2012, 18-6 in 2011 and 24-12 in 2010. 

 

NRL

VODAFONE WARRIORS v NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS

Mount Smart Stadium No 1, Auckland

7.30pm, Saturday, August 22

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS

1 SAM TOMKINS

2 KEN MAUMALO

3 DOMINIQUE PEYROUX

4 SOLOMONE KATA

5 JONATHAN WRIGHT

6 CHAD TOWNSEND

7 TUIMOALA LOLOHEA

8 JACOB LILLYMAN

9 NATHAN FRIEND

10 ALBERT VETE

11 SIONE LOUSI

12 RYAN HOFFMAN

13 SIMON MANNERING (c)

Interchange:

14 KONRAD HURRELL

15 BODENE THOMPSON

16 SAM LISONE

17 CHARLIE GUBB

18 MATT ALLWOOD

HEAD COACH | ANDREW McFADDEN

 

NSW CUP

VODAFONE WARRIORS v PENRITH

Mount Smart Stadium No 2, Auckland

1.00pm, Saturday, August 22

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS

1 VILIAMI KAVEINGA

2 WILLIE PEACE

3 MARATA NIUKORE

4 JAMES BELL

5 TOMAS AOAKE

6 MAFOA’AEATA HINGANO

7 MASON LINO

8 UPU POCHING

9 SILIVA HAVILI

10 SEBASTINE IKAHIHIFO

11 JOHN PALAVI (c)

12 RAYMOND FAITALA-MARINER

13 DAVID BHANA

Interchange:

14 LEVI NORTON

15 UILA AIOLUPO

16 SIONE FE’AO

17 BUNTY AFOA

COACH | STACEY JONES

 

NYC

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS v PENRITH PANTHERS

Mount Smart Stadium No 1, Auckland

5.10pm, Saturday, August 22

 

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS

1 BRAD ABBEY

2 LEWIS SOOSEMEA

3 JUNIOR PAUGA

4 SEMISI TYRELL

5 PAUL ULBERG

6 KAURI AUPOURI

7 ERIN CLARK

8 BUNTY AFOA

9 CASEY LAFAELE

10 PAUL TULI

11 OFAHIKI OGDEN

12 MATIU LOVE-HENRY

13 JAZZ TEVAGA

Interchange:

14 CHRIS SIO

15 KOLI ONEONE

16 TUALIMA TUALIMA

17 AMONI TUFUI

COACH | KELVIN WRIGHT

BUY NOW | VODAFONE WARRIORS v NORTH QUEENSLAND