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Familiar faces fronting up as enemies in showdown

Familiar faces will front up to the Vodafone Warriors on and off the field in Friday night’s fifth-round clash against the Cowboys in Redcliffe.

Lining up on the other side of halfway for kick-off at Moreton Daily Stadium will be captain and halfback Chad Townsend, centre Peta Hiku and prop Jamayne Taunoa-Brown.

They were all Vodafone Warriors just last season before moving to Townsville.

After being with the club as a junior, Hiku found his way back home to Mount Smart Stadium via Manly Warringah, Penrith and Warrington, making his NRL debut for his home club in 2018.

He went on to clock up 73 appearances (and score 19 tries) in his four seasons with the Vodafone Warriors.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece Walsh
    Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Scott Drinkwater
  • Winger for Warriors is number 2 Edward Kosi
    Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle Feldt
  • Centre for Warriors is number 3 Jesse Arthars
    Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Valentine Holmes
  • Centre for Warriors is number 4 Adam Pompey
    Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Peta Hiku
  • Winger for Warriors is number 5 Marcelo Montoya
    Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Murray Taulagi
  • Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Chanel Harris-Tavita
    Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Tom Dearden
  • Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson
    Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Chad Townsend

Forwards

  • Prop for Warriors is number 10 Matthew Lodge
    Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Jordan McLean
  • Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
    Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece Robson
  • Prop for Warriors is number 20 Addin Fonua-Blake
    Prop for Cowboys is number 16 Reuben Cotter
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Euan Aitken
    2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Tom Gilbert
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Bayley Sironen
    2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Jeremiah Nanai
  • Lock for Warriors is number 13 Josh Curran
    Lock for Cowboys is number 13 Jason Taumalolo

Interchange

  • Interchange for Warriors is number 8 Bunty Afoa
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 10 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Kodi Nikorima
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Jake Granville
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Aaron Pene
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 15 Heilum Luki
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Jack Murchie
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Griffin Neame

Reserves

  • Replacement for Warriors is number 15 Eliesa Katoa
    Replacement for Cowboys is number 19 Brendan Elliot

Match Officials

  • Referee: Todd Smith
  • Touch Judge: Kasey Badger
  • Senior Review Official: Matt Noyen

Last updated:

Townsend returned for a second injury-hampered stint last season, making five appearances to add to the 41 outings he had in 2014 and 2015, mostly paired in the halves with prodigal son Shaun Johnson; the pair were subsequently reunited at Cronulla Sutherland.

In his term with the Vodafone Warriors, prop Jamayne Taunoa-Brown played 32 times in 2020 and 2021 and last year also played twice as a loan player for St George Illawarra.

Off the field Todd Payten, who took over as Vodafone Warriors coach from Stephen Kearney in 2020, is matching coaching wits with his former club for the third time.

In last year’s two encounters, the Vodafone Warriors prevailed 24-20 in Gosford while the Cowboys won 29-28 in Townsville. The Vodafone Warriors had Taunoa-Brown in the line-up both times but were without Hiku for each contest while Townsend hadn’t yet joined the club.

Other New Zealand connections abound in the extended North Queensland squad for Friday night’s match:

  • Auckland-born ex-Otahuhu rugby union winger Murray Taulagi.
  • Auckland-born rookie second rower Jeremiah Nanai.
  • Auckland-born co-captain and loose forward Jason Taumalolo.
  • West Coaster Griffin Neame, who was born in Greymouth and played for the Suburbs rugby league club there.
  • Auckland-born Papatoetoe rugby union product Connelly Lemuelu.
  • Huntly-born Taniwharau junior Emry Pere.
  • Christchurch-born Aranui Eagles junior Daejarn Asi (a winger, he made five appearances for the Vodafone Warriors’ S G Ball under-18 side in 2020 before the competition was cancelled due to the Covid outbreak).
  • Veteran Cowboys prop Jordan McLean has Māori heritage.   
Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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