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Season 2022 rolls into gear for Vodafone Warriors

After a fractured build-up last year, the Vodafone Warriors today launch their full 2022 NRL preseason campaign – and 28th in the club’s history – based entirely in Australia.

Last year the impact of the Covid pandemic saw the NRL squad split into two for the pre-Christmas block of training with an Australian-based unit in Kiama and a New Zealand group stationed in Auckland before the players were fully united in Tamworth in early January.

The first contingent of players assembles at the Vodafone Warriors’ new base in Redcliffe today as the club prepares for a third Covid-affected season based in Australia albeit with the hope the team will be able to play in front of their fans at Mount Smart Stadium at some stage for the first time since August 2019.

Several members of the NRL squad will today join a mix of development-contracted and junior players plus those on train and trial deals. The rest of the squad will return on a staggered basis throughout the month while some of the club’s junior players are due to arrive in the New Year. 

Those on development contracts are 2021 NRL rookie Taniela Otukolo, Lleyton Finau and twin brothers Kina and Lingi Kepu who all played grade football for feeder club Redcliffe in Queensland this year.

Among players from the club’s Sky Sport Future Warriors system are young back rowers Zyon Maiuu and Jacob Laban. The Kelston Boys’ High School students were signed on three-year contracts this year.

Train and trial players include former Gold Coast halfback Ash Taylor and some Intrust Super Cup players, among them Redcliffe fullback Trei Fuller.

NRL SQUAD 

Bunty Afoa

Euan Aitken

Rocco Berry

Josh Curran

Wayde Egan

Addin Fonua-Blake

Tohu Harris

Chanel Harris-Tavita

Shaun Johnson

Temple Kalepo

Eliesa Katoa

Edward Kosi

Matt Lodge

Marcelo Montoya

Jack Murchie

Ben Murdoch-Masila

Kodi Nikorima

Aaron Pene

Iliesa Ratuva

Pride Petterson-Robati

Adam Pompey

Bailey Sironen

Jazz Tevaga

Viliami Vailea

Reece Walsh

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak

DEVELOPMENT PLAYERS

Lleyton Finau

Otukinekina Kepu

Valingi Kepu

Taniela Otukolo

JUNIOR PLAYERS

Jacob Laban

Zyon Maiu'u

Eric Vaafusuaga

Demitric Sifakula             

Ali Leiataua

TRAIN AND TRIAL PLAYERS

Trei Fuller

Jayden Corrigan

Tom Ale

Garrett Smith

Ash Taylor

Jackson Frei

Adam Cook