For the first time since the opening round of the season, the Vodafone Warriors will line up as selected for their NRL Magic Round encounter with St George Illawarra at Suncorp Stadium today (5.30pm kick-off local time; 7,30pm NZT).
Head coach Stephen Kearney has confirmed the Vodafone Warriors will be 1-17 for the fifth match of the NRL’s inaugural Magic Round.
After lining up as selected for the season opener against the Bulldogs, the Vodafone Warriors have used a match day squad showing one or more changes in the eight matches since.
Right wing David Fusitu’a (ribs), utility Jazz Tevaga (calf) prop Bunty Afoa (hamstring) all came through yesterday’s final field session and have been confirmed to return after being side-lined.
Making his debut at standoff as Vodafone Warrior #236 – and doing so at his previous home ground – is new signing Kodi Nikorima just eight days after his signing from the Brisbane Broncos was announced. His parents and partner presented him with his first jersey at the club’s hotel yesterday.
Nikorima has an intimate knowledge of Suncorp Stadium after playing at the venue in almost 50 of his 86 matches for the Broncos. His last outing for Brisbane was in its 29-6 seventh-round win at the ground against Cronulla on April 27.
Hooker Karl Lawton and back rower Ligi Sao are set to their second NRL matches of the season after being confirmed on the interchange alongside Tevaga and Afoa.
The two players to drop out of the squad today are utility back Gerard Beale and front rower Chris Satae.
The Dragons are coming off two straight losses including an 18-32 loss to Parramatta on Sunday which leaves them eighth on the ladder with eight points, four points ahead of the Vodafone Warriors who are 12th after their 18-36 defeat by the Knights.
Today’s fixture is a home game for the Vodafone Warriors. They have won just seven of 28 clashes against the Dragons but have prevailed in the last two matches and three of the last five between the two sides since 2016.
NRL MAGIC ROUND
VODAFONE WARRIORS v ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
5.30pm, Saturday, May 11, 2019
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Referees: Adam Gee and Gavin Badger
1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)
2 DAVID FUSITU’A
3 PETA HIKU
4 PATRICK HERBERT
5 KEN MAUMALO
6 KODI NIKORIMA
7 BLAKE GREEN
8 AGNATIUS PAASI
9 NATHANIEL ROACHE
10 LEESON AH MAU
11 ISAIAH PAPALI’I
12 TOHU HARRIS
13 LACHLAN BURR
14 JAZZ TEVAGA
15 BUNTY AFOA
16 LIGI SAO
17 KARL LAWTON
HEAD COACH | STEPHEN KEARNEY