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Unchanged side selected for first time this season

Vodafone Warriors head coach Nathan Brown has enjoyed rare good fortune in being able to name an unchanged playing 17 for the club’s Indigenous Round encounter with North Queensland in Townsville on Friday night (6.00pm kick-off local time; 8.00pm NZT).

Not a week has gone by when Brown, in his first season with the club, hasn’t been forced to make changes through injuries and also a few suspensions.

Such has been the attrition he had already used 28 players in the opening eight rounds but today he has been able to select the same 17 used in last Friday night’s come from behind 30-26 win over the Wests Tigers in Gosford.

There are some tweaks in the listed side from the one that started against the Tigers but the comfort for Brown is having the same group of players available.

This time teenage sensation Reece Walsh is named in the #1 jersey rather than being listed on the bench as was the case last week. Bunty Afoa was swapped with Kane Evans when the starting side was revealed for the Tigers but Evans is again named in #10 this week.

In the most significant shuffle Brown has named Eliesa Katoa and Jack Murchie as his starting second rowers this week with big Ben Murdoch-Masila on the interchange in #17. Katoa was originally named in #18 a week ago but ultimately started.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Valentine Holmes
    Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece Walsh
  • Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle Feldt
    Winger for Warriors is number 2 Marcelo Montoya
  • Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Javid Bowen
    Centre for Warriors is number 3 Adam Pompey
  • Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
    Centre for Warriors is number 4 Euan Aitken
  • Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Murray Taulagi
    Winger for Warriors is number 5 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
  • Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Scott Drinkwater
    Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Kodi Nikorima
  • Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Jake Clifford
    Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Chanel Harris-Tavita

Forwards

  • Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Tom Gilbert
    Prop for Warriors is number 8 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
  • Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece Robson
    Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
  • Prop for Cowboys is number 10 Jordan McLean
    Prop for Warriors is number 10 Kane Evans
  • 2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Shane Wright
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Jack Murchie
  • 2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Mitchell Dunn
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Eliesa Katoa
  • Lock for Cowboys is number 16 Corey Jensen
    Lock for Warriors is number 13 Tohu Harris

Interchange

  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 13 Coen Hess
    Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Jazz Tevaga
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Jake Granville
    Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Leeson Ah Mau
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 15 Peter Hola
    Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Bunty Afoa
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Heilum Luki
    Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Ben Murdoch-Masila

Reserves

  • Reserve for Cowboys is number 20 Daejarn Asi
    Reserve for Warriors is number 20 Rocco Berry

Match Officials

  • Referee: Matt Cecchin
  • Touch Judge: Tyson Brough
  • Touch Judge: Todd Smith
  • Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall

Last updated:

The only personnel changes are on the extended bench where 2021 rookie Rocco Berry and prop Jackson Frei are included alongside young hooker Taniela Otukolo and halfback Sean O’Sullivan.

Now confirmed at fullback, Walsh has more than matched his anticipated promise in his first five NRL appearances. Last Friday night his statistics were exceptional with a try, 140 metres from 15 runs, a line break, four line break assists, three try assists, two tackle breaks and two off loads.

Overall he has three tries, seven try assists, six line breaks, 18 tackle breaks and he has averaged 102 metres a game.

The Vodafone Warriors head to Townsville tomorrow where they’ll have their final field session ahead of their first appearance at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, the Cowboys’ new home ground.

The two sides are meeting for the second time in a month, the Vodafone Warriors winning 24-20 when they last met in Gosford on May 2. On that occasion they were outstanding in the first half when they led 24-4 but then had to withstand a withering comeback by North Queensland when they failed to score any more points.

VODAFONE WARRIORS v NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS

6.00pm, Friday, May 28, 2021

Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville

VODAFONE WARRIORS

1 REECE WALSH (Indigenous-Ngāti Kahungunu)

2 MARCELO MONTOYA

3 ADAM POMPEY (Tainui)

4 EUAN AITKEN

5 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)

6 KODI NIKORIMA (Ngāi Tahu Ngā Rauru)

7 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA (Ngāpuhi) 

8 JAMAYNE TAUNOA-BROWN (Ngāti Kahungunu; Kaurna, Narungga)

9 WAYDE EGAN

10 KANE EVANS

11 JACK MURCHIE

12 ELIESA KATOA

13 TOHU HARRIS (Ngāti Kahungunu)

Interchange:

14 JAZZ TEVAGA

15 LEESON AH MAU

16 BUNTY AFOA

17 BEN MURDOCH-MASILA

18 TANIELA OTUKOLO

20 ROCCO BERRY                                                                                 

21 SEAN O’SULLIVAN

22 JACKSON FREI

HEAD COACH | NATHAN BROWN