Vodafone Warriors head coach Nathan Brown has brought in former Brisbane halfback Sean O’Sullivan to make his club debut as Chanel Harris-Tavita’s replacement in Saturday’s third-round NRL clash against Canberra at GIO Stadium (3.00pm kick-off local time; 5.00pm NZT).
The 22-year-old O’Sullivan comes into the position following confirmation today that Harris-Tavita is expected to be sidelined for up to 12 weeks with a broken metatarsal in his left foot.
He was to have surgery today giving O’Sullivan the opportunity to come into the side as the fifth club debutant this season; he becomes Vodafone Warrior #255.
Like Harris-Tavita, ex-Junior Kangaroo and Australian Schoolboys representative O’Sullivan provides a left-footed kicking game.
Brown has also been forced to make a change to his starting front row following prop Jamayne Taunoa-Brown’s three-match suspension for a crusher tackle offence he was charged with from Friday night’s 16-20 loss to Newcastle.
That sees Brown opt for the explosive Bunty Afoa, so impressive off the bench in the opening two rounds of the season in his return from ACL surgery last year.
Match: Raiders v Warriors
Round 3 -
Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-KlokstadFullback for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Winger for Raiders is number 2 Bailey SimonssonWinger for Warriors is number 2 David Fusitu'a
Centre for Raiders is number 3 Jarrod CrokerCentre for Warriors is number 3 Adam Pompey
Centre for Raiders is number 4 Curtis ScottCentre for Warriors is number 4 Peta Hiku
Winger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan RapanaWinger for Warriors is number 5 Ken Maumalo
Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack WightonFive-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Kodi Nikorima
Halfback for Raiders is number 7 George WilliamsHalfback for Warriors is number 7 Sean O'Sullivan
Prop for Raiders is number 8 Josh PapaliiProp for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Josh HodgsonHooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
Prop for Raiders is number 15 Ryan SuttonProp for Warriors is number 10 Bunty Afoa
2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Eliesa Katoa
2nd Row for Raiders is number 21 Sebastian Kris2nd Row for Warriors is number 13 Tohu Harris
Lock for Raiders is number 13 Joseph TapineLock for Warriors is number 14 Jazz Tevaga
Interchange for Raiders is number 14 Siliva HaviliInterchange for Warriors is number 12 Bayley Sironen
Interchange for Raiders is number 16 Iosia SoliolaInterchange for Warriors is number 15 Ben Murdoch-Masila
Interchange for Raiders is number 17 Ryan JamesInterchange for Warriors is number 16 Leeson Ah Mau
Interchange for Raiders is number 19 Tom StarlingInterchange for Warriors is number 17 Jack Murchie
- Referee: Henry Perenara
- Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
- Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy
His promotion sees Brown bringing ex-Raider Jack Murchie onto the bench to face his old club at his former home ground.
Saturday’s match doubles as a major career milestone for Addin Fonua-Blake, who makes his 100th career appearance after 97 games for Manly Warringah. Left winger Ken Maumalo lifts his career tally to 98 games while captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck edges his club total to 97 games.
It’s also milestone moment time for hooker Wayde Egan, who plays his 50th NRL game this week coming off a team-high 55 tackles in an 80-minute stint against the Knights.
The Vodafone Warriors and the Raiders have shared the spoils in their last sic meetings with three wins each, the Vodafone Warriors losing both contest last year but having memorable wins at GIO Stadium in 2018 (20-19) and in 2019 (24-20).
In their 44 meetings since the first in 1995, the Vodafone Warriors have 20 wins to Canberra’s 24.