Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is one of three frontline players back in the frame for his 150th career appearance when the Vodafone Warriors face Brisbane in Sunday’s 23rd-round NRL contest at Suncorp Stadium (4.05pm kick-off local time; 6.05pm NZT).
After a false start following his one-game suspension last weekend, Watene-Zelezniak will become the second Vodafone Warrior in successive games to celebrate reaching the 150-game career milestone (centre Peta Hiku hit the mark against the Bulldogs).
He comes straight back into the side on the right wing, replacing rookie Edward Kosi who snared his first career try in last Sunday’s 24-10 win over Canterbury Bankstown.
The only other changes head coach Nathan Brown has made to the game day 17 from last week see Bayley Sironen back at loose forward with Jazz Tevaga moved to the interchange and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown coming into the starting line-up for debutant prop Jackson Frei.
Match: Broncos v Warriors
Round 23 -
Fullback for Broncos is number 1 Tesi NiuFullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece Walsh
Winger for Broncos is number 2 Corey OatesWinger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
Centre for Broncos is number 3 Selwyn CobboCentre for Warriors is number 3 Peta Hiku
Centre for Broncos is number 4 Herbie FarnworthCentre for Warriors is number 4 Adam Pompey
Winger for Broncos is number 5 Xavier CoatesWinger for Warriors is number 5 Marcelo Montoya
Five-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Anthony MilfordFive-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Chanel Harris-Tavita
Halfback for Broncos is number 7 Albert KellyHalfback for Warriors is number 22 Chad Townsend
Prop for Broncos is number 8 Thomas FleglerProp for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
Hooker for Broncos is number 21 Jake TurpinHooker for Warriors is number 17 Jazz Tevaga
Prop for Broncos is number 10 Payne HaasProp for Warriors is number 10 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 Alex Glenn2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Josh Curran
2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Jordan Riki2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Euan Aitken
Lock for Broncos is number 13 Kobe HetheringtonLock for Warriors is number 13 Bayley Sironen
Interchange for Broncos is number 9 Danny LeviInterchange for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
Interchange for Broncos is number 15 Rhys KennedyInterchange for Warriors is number 15 Bunty Afoa
Interchange for Broncos is number 16 Ethan BullemorInterchange for Warriors is number 16 Eliesa Katoa
Interchange for Broncos is number 17 Teui RobatiInterchange for Warriors is number 21 Jack Murchie
Reserve for Broncos is number 14 David MeadReserve for Warriors is number 20 Jackson Frei
- Referee: Matt Cecchin
- Touch Judge: Wyatt Raymond
- Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
- Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara
Again included on the extended bench is veteran halfback Chad Townsend who was rated a 50-50 chance to return last week before being omitted 24 fours before kick-off.
The Hamilton-born Watene-Zelezniak (25) makes it to the 150-mark after starting his career with 106 appearances for Penrith from 2014-2019 followed by 37 for the Bulldogs from 2019-2021.
In his first six outings with the Vodafone Warriors he has scored two tries, averaged 167 metres a game and made 22 tackle breaks.
Paired again in the second row are converted centre Euan Aitken and Josh Curran, who has been enjoying a breakout season.
They played the full 80 minutes last week, Curran making 175 metres and Aitken 156 while Curran had a try, three line breaks, a line break assist and a try assist. They both had four tackle breaks and were outstanding on defence, Curran with 42 tackles and one miss, Aitken with 39 and no misses.
The Vodafone Warriors go into Sunday’s critical encounter with the chance to secure their fourth straight victory, edging them closer to equalling the five-game winning sequence at the start of the 2018 campaign.
VODAFONE WARRIORS v BRISBANE BRONCOS
4.05pm, Sunday, August 22, 2021
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
1 REECE WALSH
2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK
3 PETA HIKU
4 ADAM POMPEY
5 MARCELO MONTOYA
6 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA
7 SEAN O’SULLIVAN
8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE (c)
9 WAYDE EGAN
10 JAMAYNE TAUNOA-BROWN
11 EUAN AITKEN
12 JOSH CURRAN
13 BAYLEY SIRONEN
14 KODI NIKORIMA
15 BUNTY AFOA
16 ELIESA KATOA
17 JAZZ TEVAGA
18 EDWARD KOSI
20 JACKSON FREI
21 JACK MURCHIE
22 CHAD TOWNSEND
HEAD COACH | NATHAN BROWN