Loose forward Jazz Tevaga, fullback Brad Abbey and wing Paul Ulberg will be the only survivors from last year’s NYC title-winning side lining up for the Vodafone Junior Warriors when they start their 2015 finals campaign against the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium on Friday (5.15pm kick-off local time; 7.15pm NZT).

As the seventh-ranked side the Vodafone Junior Warriors face the sixth-placed Roosters in an elimination play-off.

Tevaga, Abbey and Ulberg begin their second finals campaign after helping the club to its third NYC grand final win when beating Brisbane 34-32 last year.

Three other eligible players from the 2014 champion side are injured; prop Toafofoa Sipley (knee) and Nathaniel Roache (pectoral) are sidelined for the season while front rower Bunty Afoa is again out leaving him stranded on 49 NYC appearances. 

Also unavailable is standoff Ata Hingano; he featured in the play-offs last year – although not the grand final – but he has again been selected to play for the club’s New South Wales Cup side in Sunday’s elimination final against the Bulldogs.

The Vodafone Junior Warriors sealed seventh spot with a 30-14 win over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs last Sunday.

There is one notable change from that side with Marata Niukore returning in the centres from NSW Cup duty last week. Tevaga and prop Paul Tuli also turned out in the NSW Cup last week but backed up by playing for the NYC side as well.

The Vodafone Junior Warriors and the Roosters were 1-1 in matches against each other in the regular season with the Roosters winning at Mount Smart Stadium before the Vodafone Junior Warriors triumphed 42-20 at Allianz Stadium in July. 

 

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS v SYDNEY ROOSTERS

ANZ Stadium, Sydney

5.15pm, Friday, September 11

 

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS

1 BRAD ABBEY

2 TOMAS AOAKE

3 MARATA NIUKORE

4 SEMISI TYRELL

5 PAUL ULBERG

6 KAURI AUPOURI

7 ERIN CLARK

8 TUALIMA TUALIMA

9 CASEY LAFAELE

10 PAUL TULI

11 OFAHIKI OGDEN

12 MATIU LOVE-HENRY

13 JAZZ TEVAGA (c)

Interchange:

14 TYLER MOHI

15 MATTAIS HEIMULI

16 AMONI TUFUI

17 LEWIS SOOSEMEA

COACH | KELVIN WRIGHT