Rookie Bunty Afoa starts in the second row against the Manly Sea Eagles in Perth tonight. Image | www.photosport.nz

Three changes have been made to the Vodafone Warriors’ starting pack for today’s 19th-round NRL clash against the Manly Sea Eagles at nib Stadium in Perth (3.30pm kick-off local time; 7.30pm NZT).

With James Gavet and Jazz Tevaga the confirmed replacements for the experienced pair Jacob Lillyman and Bodene Thompson, head coach Andrew McFadden has shuffled his playing resources.

Also without Albert Vete (hamstring), McFadden will use Gavet and Charlie Gubb as his starting front rowers ensuring the seasoned Ben Matulino can be injected for a long stint from the interchange.

Coming into the side to start on the right edge as Thompson’s replacement is rookie 19-year-old Bunty Afoa, who’ll be playing just his second NRL match.

He was used off the bench in his debut against Gold Coast and produced a player of the day performance last week when he played the full 80 minutes on the right edge for the club’s Intrust Super Premiership side in its 12-8 win over Illawarra.

Alongside Matulino on the bench are Tuimoala Lolohea, Sam Lisone and Tevaga.

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS v MANLY SEA EAGLES

nib Stadium, Perth

3.30pm, Saturday, July 16

Referees: Gavin Badger and Chris James

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS

1 DAVID FUSITU’A

2 KEN MAUMALO

3 BLAKE AYSHFORD

4 SOLOMONE KATA

5 MANU VATUVEI

6 THOMAS LEULUAI

7 SHAUN JOHNSON

18 JAMES GAVET

9 ISSAC LUKE

17 CHARLIE GUB

16 BUNTY AFOA

12 RYAN HOFFMAN (c)

13 SIMON MANNERING

Interchange:

10 BEN MATULINO

14 TUIMOALA LOLOHEA

15 SAM LISONE

21 JAZZ TEVAGA

HEAD COACH | ANDREW McFADDEN