Paul Turner will become Vodafone Warrior #249 after being called in to replace the unavailable Chanel Harris-Tavita in the halves for today's 15th-round NRL match against the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium in Sydney (2.00pm kick-off local time; 4.00pm NZT).
The 20-year-old Northand product, educated at Whangarei Boys' High School, was originally selected in the #18 jersey when the squad was named on Tuesday.
A Hikurangi Stags junior, Turner was awarded the Sonny Fai Medal as the Vodafone Warriors' 2019 Jersey Flegg Cup under-20 player of the year. He was used in NRL trials both last year and again this year and also represented the club at the NRL Nines in Perth in February.
Harris-Tavita was selected at halfback but was put through head injury assessment protocols over the rest of the week before a decision was made not to play him. He and young middle forward Tom Ale were the two players to drop out of the initial 21-man squad 24 hours before kick-off.
The rest of the line-up is as selected.
With Patrick Herbert and Adam Keighran both ruled out, interim head coach Todd Payten has shifted Adam Pompey out of the centres to the right wing while Hayze Perham comes into the centres for just his second appearance this season and the fourth of his career.
There was also a forced change in the starting pack with Isaiah Papali’i replacing suspended Eliesa Katoa in the second row and mid-season signing Murchie being brought into the playing 17.
Match: Bulldogs v Warriors
Round 15 -
Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Will HopoateFullback for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Nick MeaneyWinger for Warriors is number 2 Adam Pompey
Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Tim LafaiCentre for Warriors is number 3 Hayze Perham
Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Kerrod HollandCentre for Warriors is number 4 Peta Hiku
Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Reimis SmithWinger for Warriors is number 5 George Jennings
Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Kieran ForanFive-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Kodi Nikorima
Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Jack CoggerHalfback for Warriors is number 18 Paul Turner
Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Ofahiki OgdenProp for Warriors is number 8 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Jeremy Marshall-KingHooker for Warriors is number 9 Karl Lawton
Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Aiden TolmanProp for Warriors is number 10 Lachlan Burr
2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Matt Doorey2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Isaiah Papali'i
2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Tohu Harris
Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Josh JacksonLock for Warriors is number 13 Jazz Tevaga
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Sione KatoaInterchange for Warriors is number 14 Wayde Egan
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Luke ThompsonInterchange for Warriors is number 15 Adam Blair
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Sauaso SueInterchange for Warriors is number 16 Daniel Alvaro
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Jake AverilloInterchange for Warriors is number 17 Jack Murchie
- Referee: Peter Gough
- Touch Judge: Gavin Badger
- Touch Judge: Henry Perenara
- Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein
Herbert’s loss will be felt acutely. He has missed only two of the team’s 14 matches during the campaign, one of them when he returned home on compassionate grounds in March. He has made 163 metres, 171 metres and 116 metres in his last three games and averages 110 metres a match for the season while his tally of five tries is bettered only by Peta Hiku with six.
Keighran has suffered terrible luck once again. He was training impressively when the team was in quarantine in Tamworth in May only to suffer a knee injury which required surgery. He had worked his way back to full fitness and, when Herbert left the field on Tuesday, was set to return to the side for the first time since round two when he was used in the centres against Canberra.
Perham’s only previous game this season was the loss to Penrith in the fourth round when he ran 147 metres and made 19 tackles.
Papali’i is named to start for the first time since the round seven loss to Melbourne while Murchie returns after being on the extended bench for the last five games against Cronulla Sutherland, the Sydney Roosters, Wests Tigers, Manly Warringah and Penrith.
Murchie’s comeback coincides with him launching his campaign to support the Black Dog Institute’s Mullets for Mental Health cause in September. He is going to grow a mullet along with some of his mates from his hometown Gerringong to raise funds in a show of support for mental health research.
Mental health and suicide are issues which have had a profound effect on Murchie. Read more about his campaign.