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Vodafone Warriors as selected once again

Interim head coach Todd Payten has confirmed the Vodafone Warriors will line up as selected for their 18th-round NRL match against the Cronulla Sutherland Sharks at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in Sydney tonight (6.30pm kick-off local time; 8.30pm NZT).

Middle forward John Curran (#18) and 2020 rookie Paul Turner (#20) have been omitted leaving the side as named on Tuesday.

Gerard Beale and Tom Ale were omitted when the squad was trimmed to 19 24 hours before kick-off.

The notable features of the team selected on Tuesday surrounded the return of Parramatta loan players Daniel Alvaro and George Jennings.

Interchange prop Alvaro and winger Jennings made five appearances in the Vodafone Warriors’ run of four wins from five starts but Parramatta then opted not to allow them to line up against their contracted club in last Sunday’s contest in Gosford.

While agreement was reached for them to reunite with their loan club, prop Jack Hetherington wasn't been cleared by Penrith to return after completing his four-game suspension.

Jennings, who has averaged 155 metres and scored two tries since joining the Vodafone Warriors, regained his spot on the left wing replacing veteran Beale.

And Alvaro, a consistent contributor from the bench, comes back on the interchange for Curran. He will play his 94th career match this weekend. 

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Sharks is number 1 William Kennedy
    Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
  • Winger for Sharks is number 2 Sione Katoa
    Winger for Warriors is number 2 Adam Pompey
  • Centre for Sharks is number 3 Josh Dugan
    Centre for Warriors is number 3 Hayze Perham
  • Centre for Sharks is number 4 Jesse Ramien
    Centre for Warriors is number 4 Peta Hiku
  • Winger for Sharks is number 5 Ronaldo Mulitalo
    Winger for Warriors is number 5 George Jennings
  • Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Connor Tracey
    Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Kodi Nikorima
  • Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Shaun Johnson
    Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Chanel Harris-Tavita

Forwards

  • Prop for Sharks is number 8 Braden Hamlin-Uele
    Prop for Warriors is number 8 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
  • Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke Brailey
    Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Karl Lawton
  • Prop for Sharks is number 10 Aaron Woods
    Prop for Warriors is number 12 Tohu Harris
  • 2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 10 Isaiah Papali'i
  • 2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Siosifa Talakai
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Jack Murchie
  • Lock for Sharks is number 13 Toby Rudolf
    Lock for Warriors is number 13 Jazz Tevaga

Interchange

  • Interchange for Sharks is number 14 Teig Wilton
    Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Wayde Egan
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 15 Jack Williams
    Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Adam Blair
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 16 Andrew Fifita
    Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Daniel Alvaro
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 17 Royce Hunt
    Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Lachlan Burr

Alvaro and Jennings are the only personnel changes but interim head coach Todd Payten.

Isaiah Papali’i was named in ther #10 jersey but Payten says he will start on the left edge. He made 107 metres from 15 runs including 54 post-contact metres plus 38 tackles in his 62 minutes off the interchange against the Eels.

His inclusion sees Lachlan Burr revert to the bench after starting in the last four matches. He was moved to the run-on side after Hetherington was suspended.

Tohu Harris, named in his familiar #12 jersey, will again be used in the middle.

With the Parramatta pair back, Payten was able to name a full complement of 21 players after being left with just 20 fit players last week. 

Making their 18th consecutive appearances this season will be veteran middle forward Adam Blair, Harris and rookie prop Jamayne Taunoa-Brown.

The Vodafone Warriors will strive to extend their run of form away from their Central Coast home base this week.

When the season resumed in May, they put together a run of three consecutive victories in Gosford over St George Illawarra, North Queensland and Brisbane but had four straight losses on the road against Penrith, South Sydney, Melbourne and Gold Coast.

Since then the record has flipped. The defeat by Parramatta was their fourth on end at Central Coast Stadium but they’ve won their last four away from Gosford against Wests Tigers, Manly Warringah, Canterbury Bankstown and Newcastle.

Among the losses at Central Coast Stadium was one of the most disappointing displays of the year when they went down 10-46 to Cronulla on July 19. Since then the Vodafone Warriors have strung together a seven-match series of committed performances; in their four-three win-loss run, the defeats have been by just eight points to defending premiers the Sydney Roosters (10-18), six points to competition leader Penrith (12-18) and six points again to third-placed Parramatta (18-24).

The Sharks remain eighth four points ahead of the Vodafone Warriors but have fallen to heavy losses to Penrith and Newcastle in their last three outings.

They have a strong recent record against the Vodafone Warriors, though, having lost just once (in Wellington last year) in the last seven encounters between the two sides.