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Watene-Zelezniak returns to make 150th career appearance

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.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Broncos is number 1 Tesi Niu
    Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece Walsh
  • Winger for Broncos is number 2 Corey Oates
    Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
  • Centre for Broncos is number 3 Selwyn Cobbo
    Centre for Warriors is number 3 Peta Hiku
  • Centre for Broncos is number 4 Herbie Farnworth
    Centre for Warriors is number 4 Adam Pompey
  • Winger for Broncos is number 5 Xavier Coates
    Winger for Warriors is number 5 Marcelo Montoya
  • Five-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Anthony Milford
    Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Chanel Harris-Tavita
  • Halfback for Broncos is number 7 Albert Kelly
    Halfback for Warriors is number 22 Chad Townsend

Forwards

  • Prop for Broncos is number 8 Thomas Flegler
    Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
  • Hooker for Broncos is number 21 Jake Turpin
    Hooker for Warriors is number 17 Jazz Tevaga
  • Prop for Broncos is number 10 Payne Haas
    Prop for Warriors is number 10 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
  • 2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 Alex Glenn
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Josh Curran
  • 2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Jordan Riki
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Euan Aitken
  • Lock for Broncos is number 13 Kobe Hetherington
    Lock for Warriors is number 13 Bayley Sironen

Interchange

  • Interchange for Broncos is number 9 Danny Levi
    Interchange for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 15 Rhys Kennedy
    Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Bunty Afoa
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 16 Ethan Bullemor
    Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Eliesa Katoa
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 17 TC Robati
    Interchange for Warriors is number 21 Jack Murchie

Reserves

  • Reserve for Broncos is number 14 David Mead
    Reserve for Warriors is number 20 Jackson Frei

Match Officials

  • Referee: Matt Cecchin
  • Touch Judge: Wyatt Raymond
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara

Last updated:

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

VODAFONE WARRIORS

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

Interchange:

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