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Vodafone Warriors make major changes for RTS' 100th

Two front-line players return from injury and suspension to help captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck mark his 100th match for the Vodafone Warriors in Sunday’s sixth-round encounter with the St George Illawarra Dragons at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in Sydney (2.00pm kick-off local time; 4.00pm NZT).

Tuivasa-Sheck becomes the 26th player to reach the milestone for the club just a week after winger Ken Maumalo achieved the feat against Manly-Warringah last Friday night.

Lining up alongside Tuivasa-Sheck for the special occasion will be prop Bunty Afoa – back from suspension – as well as veteran centre Peta Hiku who returns after a two-game absence with a knee complaint. He has been listed to start on the right wing with Marcelo Montoya named in the centres.

While Afoa and Hiku return, right winger David Fusitu’a and second rower Eliesa Katoa are both out and so is second rower Bayley Sironen (shoulder) who is missing for the second week on end. Fusitu'a has a hamstring issue.

Coming into the second row is Josh Curran with prop Jamayne Taunoa-Brown – back from a three-match suspension – included on the extended bench.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Matthew Dufty
    Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
  • Winger for Dragons is number 2 Cody Ramsey
    Winger for Warriors is number 4 Marcelo Montoya
  • Centre for Dragons is number 3 Jack Bird
    Centre for Warriors is number 2 Peta Hiku
  • Centre for Dragons is number 4 Zac Lomax
    Centre for Warriors is number 3 Adam Pompey
  • Winger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele Ravalawa
    Winger for Warriors is number 5 Ken Maumalo
  • Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Corey Norman
    Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Kodi Nikorima
  • Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Adam Clune
    Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Sean O'Sullivan

Forwards

  • Prop for Dragons is number 10 Paul Vaughan
    Prop for Warriors is number 16 Kane Evans
  • Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Andrew McCullough
    Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
  • Prop for Dragons is number 15 Trent Merrin
    Prop for Warriors is number 21 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Josh Kerr
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Josh Curran
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Tariq Sims
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 14 Ben Murdoch-Masila
  • Lock for Dragons is number 13 Tyrell Fuimaono
    Lock for Warriors is number 10 Tohu Harris

Interchange

  • Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Kaide Ellis
    Interchange for Warriors is number 8 Leeson Ah Mau
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Daniel Alvaro
    Interchange for Warriors is number 13 Jazz Tevaga
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Brayden Wiliame
    Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Bunty Afoa
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 20 Josh McGuire
    Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Paul Turner

Reserves

  • Reserve for Dragons is number 19 Billy Burns
    Reserve for Warriors is number 12 Jack Murchie

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein

Last updated:

Curran apart, the starting pack named is the same as the one used in the 12-13 loss to the Sea Eagles. Afoa joins Ben Murdoch-Masila, Kane Evans and Paul Turner on the interchange. He turned out for feeder club Redcliffe in the Intrust Super Cup last Saturday making 125 metres from 10 runs and 25 tackles without a miss as the Dolphins beat the Central Queensland Capras 24-22.

The 27-year-old Tuivasa-Sheck will lift his career tally to 184 appearances this week as he eyes the 200-match mark in his last season with the club.

The Dragons have been the Vodafone Warriors’ most challenging opponents in the club’s history with St George Illawarra heading the win ledger 21-9 in the 30 encounters between the two sides since they first met in 1999.

However, the Vodafone Warriors have won the last four straight starting with a 20-12 success at Mount Smart Stadium in 2016 followed by the historic 18-12 win in Wollongong in 2018, a 26-18 triumph in the Magic Round in Brisbane in 2019 and an 18-0 shutout in Gosford last year.