Vodafone Warrior Charlie Gubb makes a run in the NRL Rugby League, Vodafone Warriors v Cronulla Sharks at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand 1 August 2015. Copyright Photo: Fiona Goodall / www.photosport.nz

Vodafone Warriors front rower Charlie Gubb will have more than a passing interest in the North Queensland Cowboys – and specifically coach Paul Green – when they take on the Brisbane Broncos in the NRL grand final at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Sunday (7.15pm kick-off local time; 9.15pm NZT).

After savouring NYC grand final success with the Vodafone Junior Warriors in 2010, Gubb linked up with the Wynnum Manly Seagulls in the Queensland Cup in 2011 where Green was the club’s first-year head coach.

Green had started his coaching career working as a specialist coach with Wayne Bennett at the Broncos before becoming assistant coach in 2009 and then joining the Seagulls as assistant coach in 2010.

Stepping up to the top job, Green had immediate success guiding Wynnum Manly to victory in the Queensland Cup in 2011; Gubb was on the interchange while starting at fullback was Green’s current North Queensland hooker Jake Granville with long-time Brisbane back rower Dane Carlaw in the front row along with Wellington-born former Broncos hooker John Te Reo. The other starting prop was Mitchell Dodds, who’s on the bench for Brisbane in Sunday’s NRL grand final.

Green backed up by guiding the Seagulls to the premiership in 2012 when Gubb was again on the bench while his brother Peter was on the wing. Granville, Carlaw, Dodds and Te Reo were also in the side again.

In the same season Green coached the Queensland Residents side – which included Gubb – to a memorable victory over their New South Wales counterparts in the curtain-raiser to the third and final State of Origin match at Suncorp Stadium.

While Gubb moved back to the Vodafone Warriors in 2013, Green became NYC coach and NRL assistant coach at the Sydney Roosters where he would also come in contact with Vodafone Warrior-in-waiting Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

Aside from the Gubb-Green connection there’s a strong Vodafone Warriors and New Zealand flavour running through the three grand finals at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

Brisbane’s NRL line-up features four players in contention for the Kiwi team to tour England – wing Jordan Kahu, prop Adam Blair, second rower Alex Glenn and interchange utility Kodi Nikorima. Interchange prop Joe Ofahengaue was born in Auckland but has aligned himself with Australia (he has represented the Junior Kangaroos).

Included in the North Queensland squad are Auckland-born wing Antonio Winterstein – who has played seven Tests for Toa Samoa – and loose forward Jason Taumalolo. Winterstein was in the Kiwis’ 2010 Four Nations squad but didn’t play a match.    

The State Championship grand final pits the New South Wales Cup premiership-winning Newcastle Knights against their Queensland Cup counterparts the Ipswich Jets.

The Knights include wing Honeti Tuha, a former Vodafone Warriors NYC squad member, as well as ex-Vodafone Warriors NRL utility Carlos Tuimavave, ex-Vodafone Junior Warrior Tama Koopu and Marvin Filipo, who was in the Vodafone Warriors’ wider NRL squad in 2006. Also in Newcastle’s side are recent or current Junior Kiwis Joseph Tapine, Danny Levi and Sam Mataora plus 2014 New Zealand 18s representative Ken Tofilau.

The squads for the NYC grand final between Penrith and Manly include a number of New Zealand-born or New Zealand-eligible players, among them Penrith second rower James Fisher-Harris – a Junior Kiwi this year – and impressive back row partner Corey Harawira-Naera plus Manly’s Moses Noovao-McGreal, named in the Cook Islands’ train-on squad for the coming World Cup qualifier against Tonga.

 

NRL GRAND FINAL

BRISBANE BRONCOS v NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS

7.15pm, Sunday, October 04

ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Gerard Sutton and Ben Cummins

 

BRISBANE BRONCOS

1 DARIUS BOYD

2 COREY OATES

3 JACK REED

4 JUSTIN HODGES (c)

5 JORDAN KAHU

6 ANTHONY MILFORD

7 BEN HUNT

8 SAM THAIDAY

9 ANDREW MCCULLOUGH

10 ADAM BLAIR

11 ALEX GLENN

12 MATT GILLETT

13 COREY PARKER

Interchange:

14 JARROD WALLACE

15 MITCHELL DODDS

16 JOE OFAHENGAUE

17 KODI NIKORIMA

18 DALE COPLEY

COACH | WAYNE BENNETT

 

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS

1 LACHLAN COOTE

2 KYLE FELDT

3 JUSTIN O'NEILL

4 KANE LINNETT

5 ANTONIO WINTERSTEIN

6 MICHAEL MORGAN

7 JOHNATHAN THURSTON (c)

8 MATTHEW SCOTT (c)

9 JAKE GRANVILLE

10 JAMES TAMOU

11 GAVIN COOPER

12 ETHAN LOWE

13 JASON TAUMALOLO

Interchange:

14 RORY KOSTJASYN

15 JOHN ASIATA

16 SCOTT BOLTON

17 BEN HANNANT

19 RAY THOMPSON

COACH | PAUL GREEN

 

STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GRAND FINAL

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v IPSWICH JETS

3.45pm, Sunday, October 04

ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Referee: Matt Noyen

 

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

1 JAKE MAMO

2 HONETI TUHA

3 KERROD HOLLAND

4 JOSEPH TAPINE

5 KEN TOFILAU

6 CARLOS TUIMAVAVE

7 JAELEN FEENEY

8 DAMIAN SIRONEN

9 DANNY LEVI

10 SAM MATAORA

11 LACHLAN FITZGIBBON

12 JACOB SAIFITI

13 CLINT NEWTON (c)

Interchange:

14 GEORGE NDAIRA

15 MARVIN FILIPO

16 MICHAEL STEELE

17 JOSH KING

18 LUKE YATES

27 TAMA KOOPU

COACH | MATT LANTRY

 

IPSWICH JETS

1 CARLIN ANDERSON

2 MARMIN BARBA

3 LIAM CAPEWELL

4 NEMANI VALEKAPA

5 RICHARD PANDIA

6 JOSH CLEELAND

7 DANE PHILLIPS

8 JOSH SEAGE

9 MATT PARCELL

10 ROD GRIFFIN

11 SAM MARTIN

12 KURT CAPEWELL

13 KEIRON LANDER (c)

Interchange:

14 LANDON HAYES

15 KURTIS LINGWOODOCK

16 BILLY McCONNACHIE

22 FAKAHOKO TEUTAU

COACHES | BEN WALKER, SHANE WALKER

 

NYC GRAND FINAL

PENRITH PANTHERS v MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES

1.35pm, Sunday, October 04

ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Referees: Adam Gee and Peter Gough

 

PENRITH PANTHERS

1 BRENT NADEN (c)

2 FUIMANU ENESE

3 ROBERT JENNINGS

4 MALIKO FILINO

5 DYLAN EDWARDS

6 TYRONE MAY

7 JAROME LUAI

8 OLIVER CLARK

9 SONI LUKE (c)

10 MOSES LEOTA

11 JAMES FISHER-HARRIS

12 COREY HARAWIRA-NAERA

13 REED IZZARD

Interchange:

14 KAIDE ELLIS

15 THOMSON TUIGAMALA

16 PAEA PUA

17 JAKE ENNIS

COACH | CAMERON CIRALDO

 

MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES

1 TOM TRBOJEVIC

2 JESSE BOGLE

3 ADDISON DEMETRIOU

4 JESSE RAMIEN

5 MITCH THOMAS

6 WILLIAM PEARSALL

7 RILEY TRAVERS (c)

8 LIAM KNIGHT

9 HUGH PRATT

10 JESSE MAXWELL

11 LUKE GARNER

12 WILLIAM BAINBRIDGE

13 DARCY COX

Interchange:

14 NICHOLAS HYNES

15 JAMES PARKER

16 DALLAS KOEN

17 MOSES NOOVAO-McGREAL

18 JYI SEYMOUR

COACH | DAVID HEATH