Euan Aitken and Josh Curran could come straight out of isolation and back onto the field for the Vodafone Warriors’ 18th-round clash against the Penrith Panthers on Sunday (4.00pm kick-off local time; 6.00pm NZT).
They’ve been included in the extended 21-man squad despite spending the last two weeks cooped up in their apartments after being required to isolate in line with the NRL’s Covid-19 protocols.
In other developments halfback Chad Townsend and back rower Tohu Harris have been named among the reserves as they come back from shoulder injuries.
Aitken and Curran were on a Virgin Australia flight from the Gold Coast to Sydney on June 26 on which a cabin crew member tested positive to Covid-19.
While they returned negative tests they were confined to their living quarters for 14 days which forced them to miss the Vodafone Warriors’ last two games against the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Cronulla Sutherland Sharks.
Their release from isolation yesterday coincided with the announcement the Vodafone Warriors will join 11 other clubs in being relocated to hubs in Queensland in the wake of the Covid outbreak sweeping Sydney.
Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece WalshFullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan Edwards
Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-ZelezniakWinger for Panthers is number 2 Charlie Staines
Centre for Warriors is number 3 Rocco BerryCentre for Panthers is number 3 Stephen Crichton
Centre for Warriors is number 20 Euan AitkenCentre for Panthers is number 4 Brent Naden
Winger for Warriors is number 4 Marcelo MontoyaWinger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'o
Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 5 Roger Tuivasa-SheckFive-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Matt Burton
Halfback for Warriors is number 21 Chad TownsendHalfback for Panthers is number 7 Tyrone May
Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-BlakeProp for Panthers is number 8 Moses Leota
Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde EganHooker for Panthers is number 14 Mitch Kenny
Prop for Warriors is number 10 Matthew LodgeProp for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Bayley Sironen2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau
2nd Row for Warriors is number 22 Tohu Harris2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Kurt Capewell
Lock for Warriors is number 13 Jazz TevagaLock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo
Interchange for Warriors is number 6 Kodi NikorimaInterchange for Panthers is number 9 Apisai Koroisau
Interchange for Warriors is number 11 Eliesa KatoaInterchange for Panthers is number 15 Scott Sorensen
Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Josh CurranInterchange for Panthers is number 16 Spencer Leniu
Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Leeson Ah MauInterchange for Panthers is number 17 Liam Martin
Reserve for Warriors is number 17 Kane EvansReserve for Panthers is number 18 Izack Tago
- Referee: Chris Butler
- Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
- Touch Judge: Peter Gough
- Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy
Aitken and Curran were able to re-join their teammates for a recovery session yesterday and the squad’s last field session at the Tuggerah Sports Complex before leaving their home away from home on the Central Coast tomorrow.
Vodafone Warriors head coach Nathan Brown has named Curran on the interchange with Aitken listed in the reserves along with Townsend and Harris, who both picked up shoulder injuries in the golden point loss to the Dragons on July 2.
The starting line-up named is the same as the one used against the Sharks last Sunday while Curran and Kane Evans are listed in the 17 replacing Jack Murchie and Ben Murdoch-Masila.
The Vodafone Warriors will face a Penrith side which has lost only twice this season to lie second on points difference behind Melbourne. The Panthers will be without injured Origin stars Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai in the halves while they also have winger Brian To’o, loose forward Isaah Yeo, hooker Apisai Koroisau and back rower Liam Martin lining up for New South Wales in tomorrow night’s final State of Origin battle against Queensland at Cbus Super Stadium in Robina.
The venue for Sunday’s match is yet to be confirmed.
VODAFONE WARRIORS v PENRITH PANTHERS
1.50pm, Sunday, July 18, 2021
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
1 REECE WALSH
2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK
3 ROCCO BERRY
4 MARCELO MONTOYA
5 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)
6 KODI NIKORIMA
7 SEAN O’SULLIVAN
8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE
9 WAYDE EGAN
10 MATT LODGE
11 ELIESA KATOA
12 BAYLEY SIRONEN
13 JAZZ TEVAGA
14 JOSH CURRAN
15 LEESON AH MAU
16 BUNTY AFOA
17 KANE EVANS
18 ADAM POMPEY
20 EUAN AITKEN
21 CHAD TOWNSEND
22 TOHU HARRIS
HEAD COACH | NATHAN BROWN