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Isolated pair Aitken and Curran back in the frame

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.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece Walsh
    Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan Edwards
  • Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
    Winger for Panthers is number 2 Charlie Staines
  • Centre for Warriors is number 3 Rocco Berry
    Centre for Panthers is number 3 Stephen Crichton
  • Centre for Warriors is number 20 Euan Aitken
    Centre for Panthers is number 4 Brent Naden
  • Winger for Warriors is number 4 Marcelo Montoya
    Winger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'o
  • Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 5 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
    Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Matt Burton
  • Halfback for Warriors is number 21 Chad Townsend
    Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Tyrone May

Forwards

  • Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
    Prop for Panthers is number 8 Moses Leota
  • Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
    Hooker for Panthers is number 14 Mitch Kenny
  • Prop for Warriors is number 10 Matthew Lodge
    Prop for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Bayley Sironen
    2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 22 Tohu Harris
    2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Kurt Capewell
  • Lock for Warriors is number 13 Jazz Tevaga
    Lock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo

Interchange

  • Interchange for Warriors is number 6 Kodi Nikorima
    Interchange for Panthers is number 9 Apisai Koroisau
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 11 Eliesa Katoa
    Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Scott Sorensen
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Josh Curran
    Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Spencer Leniu
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Leeson Ah Mau
    Interchange for Panthers is number 17 Liam Martin

Reserves

  • Reserve for Warriors is number 17 Kane Evans
    Reserve for Panthers is number 18 Izack Tago

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Butler
  • Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
  • Touch Judge: Peter Gough
  • Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy

Last updated:

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

VODAFONE WARRIORS

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

Interchange:

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