Round one spots will be on the line when the Vodafone Warriors use their best available players in their second and final 2022 NRL trial at their new home Moreton Daily Stadium in Redcliffe on Saturday, February 26 (2.00pm kick-off local time).
The hit-out against the Gold Coast Titans follows the Vodafone Warriors’ pipe opener against the Storm in Melbourne this Saturday (February 19).
The Vodafone Warriors are likely to mix and match their line-up for that trial, opting to give players from their wider squad time on the field.
It will be a different story against the Titans ahead of their first-round encounter with St George Illawarra at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday, March 12 (4.30pm kick-off local time).
Quite apart from looking at combinations ahead of the season proper, the match is also a chance for the Vodafone Warriors to familiarise themselves with their home base for the 2022 season, a ground they have played at once before beating Canterbury Bankstown 24-10 there last year.
Vodafone Warriors assistant coach Stacey Jones says the players and staff can’t wait to see the results of months of preseason graft when they front up against the Titans.
“It’s exciting for us to be able to have a trial (at Moreton Daily Stadium) because we’ve done all our preseason here,” he said.
“We’re hoping we get lots of support from the locals and ex-pat Kiwis from around the area. This is our home now and we want to make it feel like that.”
While the Vodafone Warriors won’t be able to call on all their top-line players – most notably new captain Tohu Harris – they’ll have a strong side on the park against the Titans.
“It’s our last hit out (before the season) and we’ll be playing near enough to our best squad that’s fit and healthy,” said Jones.
“We’re not focused on that just yet. We have players involved in the All Stars (on Saturday night). We’ll get through that first and then we’ve got our trial in Melbourne when a lot of players will be given an opportunity.”
The Vodafone Warriors’ build-up to the 2022 campaign closely mirrors last year’s when the Vodafone Warriors also faced the Titans in their final preseason rehearsal. On that occasion the teams drew 12-12 in Lismore before meeting again at Central Coast Stadium in the opening round of the NRL season.
This time they’ll have a sight of each other on February 26 and then face off again at Cbus Super Stadium in the second round of the season on March 19.
VODAFONE WARRIORS v GOLD COAST TITANS
Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe
2.00pm, Saturday, February 26