Former internationals, State of Origin representatives and fan favourites are in an all-time Aussie Warriors side revealed today in the latest edition of the Vodafone Warriors’ ‘best of’ selections named on the NRL’s regular ‘Team List Tuesday’ in association with the Alternative Commentary Collective (ACC).
The club has a rich connection with both Australian players and also coaches. Indeed, of the 243 players on the 1995-2020 roster, more than 60 are Australians.
Of those chosen Steve Price, who captained the Vodafone Warriors from 2005-2009, centre Brent Tate, prop Jacob Lillyman, hooker-halfback P J Marsh and back rower Kevin Campion all represented Queensland at Origin level during their time at the club while loose forward Micheal Luck went close.
Second rower Ryan Hoffman extended his New South Wales career when he was in Auckland and standoff James Maloney would go on to play for the Blues after moving to the Roosters.
Also named in this Aussies Warriors selection is fullback Brent Webb, who became a Kiwi international after qualifying as a New Zealand resident, while Price, Tate, Maloney, Hoffman and halfback Greg Alexander, another New South Wales Origin representative, all played for the Kangaroos during their careers as did Richard Villasanti in one Test.
Webb was a firm fan favourite during his time at Mount Smart Stadium, his departure after the 2006 season bemoaned by his legion of supporters. The 103-game Vodafone Warrior claims the fullback’s spot in a competitive field which includes foundation fullback Phil Blake, Ivan Cleary and Wade McKinnon.
The selection of the centres and wingers was fairly straightforward. The experienced Tate had to be one centre while Tony Martin, a 53-game Vodafone Warrior from 2005-2007, partners him (both of them grand final winners during their careers).
Justin Murphy, who was on the wing for the Vodafone Warriors in their 2002 grand final appearance, is on one wing with Todd Byrne – 21 tries in 43 games – on the other flank.
The halves throw up the deepest field of contenders, among them John Simon, Michael Witt, Joel Moon, Chad Townsend, Blake Green, Grant Rovelli, Alexander, Maloney and Marsh. Emerging from a quality group are the well-credentialled Alexander and Maloney.
Hooker is another spot where the Vodafone Warriors have had a heavy quota of Australians including Marsh, Jason Death, Robert Mears, Ian Henderson, George Gatis, Shaun Berrigan, Nathan Friend and currently Karl Lawton and Wayde Egan.
While injury restricted Marsh to just 35 appearances in 2002 and 2003 he was exceptional, a key contributor in the club’s march to the 2002 grand final and also influential again in 2003 until injury ended his campaign in round 14. And Death, with his ability to play in the back row as well, merited inclusion on the interchange.
The starting front rowers are Price and Lillyman with the explosive Mark Tookey and Villasanti off the bench while Hoffman, Luck and Campion were automatic selections in the back row with Feleti Mateo to provide utility value and impact from the bench.
The 17 players chosen count a combined total of more than 4000 appearances between them a first-grade and representative while they have collectively played almost 1300 games for the Warriors.
Fullbacks: Phil Blake, Ivan Cleary, David Mulhall, Brent Webb, Wade McKinnon, Aidan Kirk
Wingers: Lee Oudenryn, Justin Murphy, Michael Crockett, Denan Kemp, Todd Byrne, Dane Nielsen,Jonathan Wright, Matt Allwood
Centres: Manoa Thompson, Scott Pethybridge, Ivan Cleary, David Myles, John Carlaw, Tony Martin, Brent Tate, Dane Nielsen, Blake Ayshford
Standoffs: John Simon, Jason Bell, Michael Witt, Joel Moon, James Maloney, Chad Townsend, Blake Green, Adam Keighran
Halfbacks: Greg Alexander, Nathan Wood, P J Marsh, Grant Rovelli, Brett Seymour, Shaun Berrigan, Chad Townsend, Jeff Robson
Props: Mark Tookey, Richard Villasanti, Justin Morgan, Danny Sullivan, Matt Jobson, Steve Price, Jacob Lillyman, Jeremy Latimore, Lachlan Burr
Hookers: Jason Death, Robert Mears, Nathan Wood, P J Marsh, Paul Dezolt, George Gatis, Ian Henderson, Shaun Berrigan, Nathan Friend, Karl Lawton, Wayde Egan
Second rowers: Kevin Campion, Micheal Luck, Feleti Mateo, Todd Lowrie, Jayson Bukuya, Ryan Hoffman, Shaun Lane, Josh Curran
Loose forwards: Jason Death, Scott Coxon, Kevin Campion, Micheal Luck, Todd Lowrie, Feleti Mateo
AUSSIE WARRIORS | 1995-2020
|1||Brent WEBB||(Vodafone Warrior #97)|
|2||Justin MURPHY||(Vodafone Warrior #92)|
|3||Brent TATE||(Vodafone Warrior #137)|
|4||Tony MARTIN||(Vodafone Warrior #109)|
|5||Todd BYRNE||(Vodafone Warrior #122)|
|6||James MALONEY||(Vodafone Warrior #156)|
|7||Greg ALEXANDER||(Vodafone Warrior #7)|
|8||Jacob LILLYMAN||(Vodafone Warrior #146)|
|9||P J MARSH||(Vodafone Warrior #96)|
|10||Steve PRICE||(Vodafone Warrior #121)|
|11||Micheal LUCK||(Vodafone Warrior 126)|
|12||Ryan HOFFMAN||(Vodafone Warrior #195)|
|13||Kevin CAMPION||(Vodafone Warrior #86)|
|14||Jason DEATH||(Vodafone Warrior #59)|
|15||Mark TOOKEY||(Vodafone Warrior #76)|
|16||Richard VILLASANTI||(Vodafone Warrior #87)|
|17||Feleti MATEO||(Vodafone Warrior #164)|