Upu Poching during the Vodafone Warriors v Penrith. VB NSW Cup Rugby League. Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland. New Zealand. Sunday 22 August 2015. Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga/www.Photosport.nz

A total of 51 players have been used by the Vodafone Warriors during this year’s New South Wales Cup campaign and they're set to add to the count in Saturday’s final regular season clash against the table-topping Mounties at Aubrey Keech Reserve (3.00pm kick-off local time; 5.00pm NZT).

Coach Stacey Jones has been forced to make more changes as the fourth-placed Vodafone Warriors eye a match-up which could be repeated in the first week of the finals a week later.

The Mounties, Wyong and Penrith are all on 34 points with the Mounties narrowly ahead of Wyong on points for and against. Wyong meets bottom-placed Wentworthville in the final round this weekend while Penrith takes on Illawarra.

Jones’ challenge is finding personnel with NRL and NYC squad requirements plus injuries biting deep into his already depleted resources.

Of the players who have appeared regularly for the NSW Cup side this year Matt Allwood, Dominique Peyroux, Mason Lino, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Sione Lousi, Charlie Gubb and John Palavi are all in the NRL side for Sunday’s encounter with Wests Tigers.

Also out of contention through injury are David Fusitu’a, Glen Fisiiahi and Viliami Kaveinga. As well as them Jones is without NYC-eligible players Tomas Aoake, Marata Niukore and Ata Hingano. They’ve been used at NSW Cup level in recent weeks but have been named in the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ line-up for Sunday’s crucial NYC encounter with Wests Tigers.

The upshot is Jones has been able to call on only five players who have appeared in 10 or more NSW Cup matches this season – Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Siliva Havili, David Bhana, James Bell and Upu Poching. Also back in the NSW Cup side this week is wing Ken Maumalo, who has played eight NRL matches and eight NSW Cup games so far this season.

Included at halfback this week is Mangere East’s Ray Talimalie, named the Fox Memorial player of the year at the Auckland Rugby League awards dinner last night.

Listed to make their NSW Cup debuts on Saturday are Point Chevalier's Gary Fuimaono and Mangere East's Vodafone Junior Warrior Wesley Tauti.  

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS v MOUNTIES

Aubrey Keech Reserve, Sydney

3.00pm, Saturday, August 29

Referee: Damien Briscoe

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS

1 SIMON LUAFALEALO

2 KEN MAUMALO

3 LEVI NORTON

4 GARY FUIMAONO

5 WILLIE PEACE

6 SILIVA HAVILI

7 RAYMOND TALIMALIE

8 UPU POCHING

9 ZAC TIPPINS

10 DAVID BHANA

11 SIONE FE’AO

12 RAYMOND FAITALA-MARINER

13 JAMES BELL

Interchange:

14 PATRICK SIPLEY

15 UILA AIOLUPO

16 TULSAN CAIRD

17 WESLEY TAUTI

COACH: STACEY JONES