Midseason signings Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Chad Townsend come straight into the side for the Vodafone Warriors’ 16th-round NRL clash against St George Illawarra at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford on Friday (6.00pm kick-off local time; 8.00pm NZT).
Watene-Zelezniak (25) and Townsend (30), who trained with the team for the first time yesterday, instantly provide the Vodafone Warriors with a combined 330-game injection of experience.
New Zealand captain Watene-Zelezniak makes his club debut on the wing as Vodafone Warrior #262 while Townsend (#186) comes in at halfback for his first appearance for the side since his 41st outing in the final round of the Vodafone Warriors’ 2015 campaign.
The inclusion of the two new arrivals is offset by the loss of centre Euan Aitken and loose forward Josh Curran, who are both in isolation for the next two weeks.
With Aitken out, Marcelo Montoya moves into the centres while Tohu Harris takes Curran’s spot at loose forward.
Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-SheckFullback for Dragons is number 1 Matt Dufty
Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-ZelezniakWinger for Dragons is number 2 Cody Ramsey
Centre for Warriors is number 3 Adam PompeyCentre for Dragons is number 3 Brayden Wiliame
Centre for Warriors is number 4 Marcelo MontoyaCentre for Dragons is number 4 Jack Bird
Winger for Warriors is number 5 Edward KosiWinger for Dragons is number 5 Gerard Beale
Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 22 Sean O'SullivanFive-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Corey Norman
Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Chad TownsendHalfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben Hunt
Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-BlakeProp for Dragons is number 8 Blake Lawrie
Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde EganHooker for Dragons is number 9 Andrew McCullough
Prop for Warriors is number 10 Kane EvansProp for Dragons is number 10 Paul Vaughan
2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Eliesa Katoa2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Josh Kerr
2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Ben Murdoch-Masila2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Tariq Sims
Lock for Warriors is number 13 Tohu HarrisLock for Dragons is number 13 Jack De Belin
Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Jazz TevagaInterchange for Dragons is number 14 Josh McGuire
Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Leeson Ah MauInterchange for Dragons is number 15 Billy Burns
Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Bunty AfoaInterchange for Dragons is number 16 Daniel Alvaro
Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Bayley SironenInterchange for Dragons is number 17 Tyrell Fuimaono
Reserve for Warriors is number 18 Rocco BerryReserve for Dragons is number 19 Jackson Ford
- Referee: Peter Gough
- Touch Judge: Wyatt Raymond
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy
Also out of the side is would-be Queensland Origin debutant Reece Walsh. The hamstring strain which forced him out of Origin II prevents him making his eighth NRL appearance of the season.
That results in captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck switching to fullback and 2021 rookie Edward Kosi named on the wing for his fourth NRL match.
With Harris moved to the #13 jersey, Brown has brought Eliesa Katoa into the second row and moved Ben Murdoch-Masila onto the edge after using him as a starting prop in the 6-10 loss to Newcastle on June 19. Taking Murdoch-Masila’s place in the front row is the experienced Kane Evans.
After missing the Newcastle contest, Wayde Egan is back at hooker while Jazz Tevaga, who started at dummy half against the Knights, reverts to the #14 jersey. The others on the game day interchange are Leeson Ah Mau, Bunty Afoa and Bayley Sironen.
VODAFONE WARRIORS v ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
6.00pm, Friday, July 2, 2021
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)
2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK
3 ADAM POMPEY
4 MARCELO MONTOYA
5 EDWARD KOSI
6 KODI NIKORIMA
7 CHAD TOWNSEND
8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE
9 WAYDE EGAN
10 KANE EVANS
11 ELIESA KATOA
12 BEN MURDOCH-MASILA
13 TOHU HARRIS
14 JAZZ TEVAGA
15 LEESON AH MAU
16 BUNTY AFOA
17 BAYLEY SIRONEN
18 ROCCO BERRY
20 JACK MURCHIE
21 TANIELA OTUKOLO
22 SEAN O’SULLIVAN
HEAD COACH | NATHAN BROWN