Jazz Tevaga during preseason training. November 12

Hooker Jazz Tevaga has been called up to make his debut in the Vodafone Warriors’ third-round NRL clash against Melbourne at Mount Smart Stadium today (4.00pm kick-off; match day sponsor: Vodafone).

The 20-year-old has been brought in to replace the experienced Issac Luke, who has been ruled out with a leg injury.

A Papakura Sea Eagles junior, Tevaga finished his NYC career last year in a season in which he also appeared for the club’s New South Wales Cup side. He started this year in the Intrust Super Premiership team (formerly the NSW Cup). Tevaga becomes Vodafone Warrior #209.

Blake Ayshford is confirmed to start but Manu Vatuvei has been ruled out. He is replaced by Jonathan Wright.

Albert Vete, having his first NRL out of the year, starts in the front row with Ben Matulino, cleared by the judiciary this week, moving to the bench once again.

This will be the 37th clash between the sides with little separating them since their first meeting in 1998. The Vodafone Warriors have 16 wins, Melbourne 18, with two drawn.

In the 17 encounters at Mount Smart Stadium, the Vodafone Warriors have a 9-8 edge.

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS v MELBOURNE STORM

Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

4.00pm, Sunday, March 20

Referees: Henry Perenara and Dave Munro

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK

2 TUIMOALA LOLOHEA

3 BLAKE AYSHFORD

4 SOLOMONE KATA

21 JONATHAN WRIGHT

6 SHAUN JOHNSON

7 JEFF ROBSON

8 JACOB LILLYMAN

24 JAZZ TEVAGA

17 ALBERT VETE

11 BODENE THOMPSON

12 RYAN HOFFMAN (c)

13 SIMON MANNERING

Interchange:

10 BEN MATULINO

14 NATHANIEL ROACHE

15 CHARLIE GUBB

16 JAMES GAVET

HEAD COACH | ANDREW McFADDEN