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Three changes made to spine for Newcastle contest

Sean O’Sullivan, Jazz Tevaga and Reece Walsh all come into the spine for the Vodafone Warriors’ 15th-round NRL encounter with the Newcastle Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday (3.00pm kick-off local time; 5.00pm NZT).

The 22-year-old O’Sullivan made four consecutive appearances replacing injured Chanel Harris-Tavita at halfback earlier in the season and now he reprises the role after Harris-Tavita was forced off the field with a pectoral complaint in Sunday’s loss to Melbourne.

O’Sullivan, set to play his 14th NRL game, last appeared in the 20-14 round six win over St George Illawarra while he was 18th man against North Queensland in the eighth round but wasn’t used. 

With regular hooker Wayde Egan ruled out following a head knock in Sunday’s defeat by the Storm, the recently re-signed Tevaga returns to the side at dummy half after being omitted for the Melbourne match.

And 18-year-old Walsh is back in the #1 jersey after serving a one-game suspension on a striking charge he landed after the 28-29 loss to North Queensland; that sees captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck again moving to the right wing.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Knights is number 3 Kurt Mann
    Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece Walsh
  • Winger for Knights is number 2 Dominic Young
    Winger for Warriors is number 2 Marcelo Montoya
  • Centre for Knights is number 4 Enari Tuala
    Centre for Warriors is number 4 Euan Aitken
  • Centre for Knights is number 12 Brodie Jones
    Centre for Warriors is number 21 Adam Pompey
  • Winger for Knights is number 5 Hymel Hunt
    Winger for Warriors is number 5 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
  • Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Jake Clifford
    Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Kodi Nikorima
  • Halfback for Knights is number 7 Mitchell Pearce
    Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Sean O'Sullivan

Forwards

  • Prop for Knights is number 8 Jacob Saifiti
    Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
  • Hooker for Knights is number 9 Jayden Brailey
    Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Jazz Tevaga
  • Prop for Knights is number 10 Daniel Saifiti
    Prop for Warriors is number 10 Ben Murdoch-Masila
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Lachlan Fitzgibbon
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Bayley Sironen
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 13 Mitchell Barnett
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Tohu Harris
  • Lock for Knights is number 16 Sauaso Sue
    Lock for Warriors is number 13 Josh Curran

Interchange

  • Interchange for Knights is number 14 Connor Watson
    Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Eliesa Katoa
  • Interchange for Knights is number 15 David Klemmer
    Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Leeson Ah Mau
  • Interchange for Knights is number 17 Jack Johns
    Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Kane Evans
  • Interchange for Knights is number 18 Josh King
    Interchange for Warriors is number 22 Taniela Otukolo

Reserves

  • Reserve for Knights is number 19 Tex Hoy
    Reserve for Warriors is number 18 Edward Kosi

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Butler
  • Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
  • Touch Judge: Mark Bohan
  • Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy

Last updated:

Also returning is 20-year-old centre Rocco Berry – a late defection with a hamstring twinge for the Storm game – as well as second rower Eliesa Katoa, who has been included on the bench.

Aside from Tevaga’s forced selection at hooker, the other key change in the starting pack sees prop Addin Fonua-Blake named to start after playing a total of 50 minutes in his two stints against Melbourne. He finished with 81 metres from nine runs and made 20 tackles.

He’ll team up with fellow new signing Ben Murdoch-Masila to form a big starting front row while head coach Nathan Brown has retained the same back row of Tohu Harris and Bayley Sironen in the second row with re-signed Josh Curran at loose forward. Leeson Ah Mau moves out of the front row to join the interchange.

Included on the extended bench is centre Adam Pompey - back from a one-match suspension - and promising young hooker Taniela Otukolo.

With Egan sidelined, Ah Mau, Tuivasa-Sheck and standoff Kodi Nikorima are now set to the only players to appear in every match so far this season. 

VODAFONE WARRIORS v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

3.00pm, Saturday, June 19, 2021

McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

VODAFONE WARRIORS

1 REECE WALSH

2 MARCELO MONTOYA

3 ROCCO BERRY

4 EUAN AITKEN

5 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)

6 KODI NIKORIMA

7 SEAN O’SULLIVAN

8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE

9 JAZZ TEVAGA

10 BEN MURDOCH-MASILA

11 BAYLEY SIRONEN

12 TOHU HARRIS

13 JOSH CURRAN

Interchange:

14 ELIESA KATOA

15 LEESON AH MAU

16 BUNTY AFOA

17 KANE EVANS

18 EDWARD KOSI

20 JACK MURCHIE

21 ADAM POMPEY

23 TANIELA OTUKOLO

HEAD COACH | NATHAN BROWN