A touch of Canberra’s past collides with its present for some Vodafone Warriors personnel in tonight’s first-ever NRL match in Taranaki.
On the field ex-Raider Matt Allwood (11 appearances in 2014) lines up in the centres against many of his former team-mates.
And captain Ryan Hoffman also has strong ties with the Raiders through his father Jay, a foundation Canberra player - a hooker - who who appeared in 111 games for the club from 1982-1987.
Three of the Vodafone Warriors’ football staff have a Canberra association – Andrew McFadden, Justin Morgan and Ruben Wiki.
Head coach McFadden played 76 times for the Green Machine from 1997-2001 and later had coaching roles with Canberra before joining the Vodafone Warriors.
First-year assistant coach Morgan was both a Canberra and Vodafone Warriors player during his playing career, appearing in 22 matches for the Raiders in 2000 before moving to Auckland for the 2001 and 2002 seasons. He also spent time with Canberra in a coaching capacity.
Wiki finished his playing days regarded as a great for both Canberra and the Vodafone Warriors, 225 games for the former from 1993-2004 and 87 for the latter from 2005-2008. He played in any number of Canberra-Vodafone Warriors derbies across his 16 first-grade campaigns.
There was one match in 2000 when McFadden, Morgan and Wiki all lined up together for Canberra against the Vodafone Warriors, winning 13-6 at Mount Smart Stadium.
Other former Vodafone Warriors who also played for Canberra include Sean Hoppe, Jason Death, Odell Manuel, Anthony Swann, Quentin Pongia, Tyran Smith and Sione Faumuina.