You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Hiku leads much-changed Vodafone Warriors side

Experienced Peta Hiku will lead the Vodafone Warriors for the first time when he returns from a long injury-lay-off in a much-changed side to face the Wests Tigers in Friday night’s 20th-round NRL clash at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane (6.00pm kick-off local time; 8.00pm NZT).

Named at standoff, the versatile 28-year-old Hiku will be making his first appearance – and just his fifth of the season – since picking up a serious shoulder injury in the 20-14 win over St George Illawarra on April 18.

Of the first four matches he played this season, the Vodafone Warriors won three beating Gold Coast, Canberra and the Dragons.

Hiku, who’ll be making his 148th career appearance, is teamed in the halves with Sean O’Sullivan. He’ll be the Vodafone Warriors’ third captain in as many games; departing Roger Tuivasa-Sheck led the side against Penrith – before leaving the field early with concussion – while prop Addin Fonua-Blake took over against the Rabbitohs last week.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Daine Laurie
    Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece Walsh
  • Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
    Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
  • Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Moses Mbye
    Centre for Warriors is number 3 Adam Pompey
  • Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Tommy Talau
    Centre for Warriors is number 18 Viliami Vailea
  • Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Ken Maumalo
    Winger for Warriors is number 5 Marcelo Montoya
  • Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Adam Doueihi
    Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Peta Hiku
  • Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks
    Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Sean O'Sullivan

Forwards

  • Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Stefano Utoikamanu
    Prop for Warriors is number 8 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
  • Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jacob Liddle
    Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Taniela Otukolo
  • Prop for Wests Tigers is number 14 Alex Twal
    Prop for Warriors is number 10 Ben Murdoch-Masila
  • 2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Shawn Blore
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 4 Euan Aitken
  • 2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Eliesa Katoa
  • Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Joe Ofahengaue
    Lock for Warriors is number 12 Bayley Sironen

Interchange

  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Tom Amone
    Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Kodi Nikorima
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Tukimihia Simpkins
    Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Bunty Afoa
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Michael Chee Kam
    Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Kane Evans
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 18 Kelma Tuilagi
    Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Jazz Tevaga

Reserves

  • Reserve for Wests Tigers is number 20 Zac Cini
    Reserve for Warriors is number 21 Pride Petterson-Robati

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ben Cummins
  • Touch Judge: Darian Furner
  • Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
  • Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara

Last updated:

Through a combination of unavailability, injury and suspension, head coach Nathan Brown has had no option but to make a raft of changes to the line-up.

Tuivasa-Sheck has played his last game for the club after being given permission to return home before the Government completely pauses the Australian travel bubble on Friday and now veteran prop Leeson Ah Mau is also unavailable after being granted a request to be reunited with his family in Auckland.

Tohu Harris (shoulder), Wayde Egan (shoulder) and Rocco Berry (hamstring) are joined in the casualty ward by Addin Fonua-Blake (hand), Chad Townsend (shoulder), Jack Murchie (concussion) while impressive new signing Matt Lodge is suspended.

The heavy toll of unavailable players results in a completely new starting front row.

Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, who last played in the round 19 loss to Gold Coast, returns at prop after two loan appearances for the Dragons with Ben Murdoch-Masila the other starting prop alongside rookie hooker Taniela Otukolo, who’ll start for the first time.

The outside backs are unchanged, Reece Walsh - the team's top try scorer with seven tries in 10 games - again at fullback with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Marcelo Montoya on the wings and Euan Aitken and Adam Pompey in the centres.

Murchie is replaced by Eliesa Katoa while the bench named comprises Kodi Nikorima, Bunty Afoa, Kane Evans and Jazz Tevaga.

Just three players have been named on the extended bench including young centre Viliami Vailea and prop Pride Petterson-Robati, both yet to make their NRL debuts.

VODAFONE WARRIORS v WESTS TIGERS

6.00pm, Friday, July 30, 2021

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

VODAFONE WARRIORS

1 REECE WALSH

2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK

3 ADAM POMPEY

4 EUAN AITKEN

5 MARCELO MONTOYA

6 PETA HIKU (c)

7 SEAN O’SULLIVAN

8 JAMAYNE TAUNOA-BROWN

9 TANIELA OTUKOLO

10 BEN MURDOCH-MASILA

11 ELIESA KATOA

12 BAYLEY SIRONEN

13 JOSH CURRAN

Interchange:

14 KODI NIKORIMA

15 BUNTY AFOA

16 KANE EVANS

17 JAZZ TEVAGA

18 VILIAMI VAILEA

20 EDWARD KOSI

21 PRIDE PETTERSON-ROBATI

22 TBC

HEAD COACH | NATHAN BROWN