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The Roosters and Vodafone Warriors will clash for the 44th time in NRL history on Easter Sunday in a battle between two in-form sides at the Sydney Cricket Ground. 

The Tricolours came from behind against the Broncos last week to secure their third win of the season while the Warriors have strung together three straight wins after back-to-back losses early in the season. 

Shaun Johnson's return to the line-up in recent weeks has been a blessing for the New Zealand outfit with his battle against halves Sam Walker and Luke Keary among the highlights of the fixture.

The Roosters have won the past four outings between the two sides by an average margin of 24. Prior to that the Warriors had won four in a row from 2016, three of which were by four points or less.

The Rundown

Team news

Roosters: Teen sensation Joseph Suaalii has been called up to make his first NRL appearance of the season at left centre, in place of Paul Momirovski. Suaalii played five matches last season after being given permission to debut before his 18th birthday but suffered a foot injury and underwent surgery in July. He is one of three changes to the Roosters line-up when the squad was trimmed to 19 players 24 hours before kick-off, with Connor Watson and Sio Siua Taukeiaho (calf) dropping out. Drew Hutchison and Daniel Suluka-Fifita replace them on the bench. Hooker Sam Verrills is also set to play his first NRL game of the season.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
    Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece Walsh
  • Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
    Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
  • Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
    Centre for Warriors is number 3 Jesse Arthars
  • Centre for Roosters is number 5 Kevin Naiqama
    Centre for Warriors is number 4 Adam Pompey
  • Winger for Roosters is number 23 Joseph Suaalii
    Winger for Warriors is number 5 Edward Kosi
  • Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Sam Walker
    Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Chanel Harris-Tavita
  • Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Luke Keary
    Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson

Forwards

  • Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
    Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
  • Hooker for Roosters is number 24 Drew Hutchison
    Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
  • Prop for Roosters is number 10 Lindsay Collins
    Prop for Warriors is number 16 Aaron Pene
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Sitili Tupouniua
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Euan Aitken
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 16 Angus Crichton
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Bayley Sironen
  • Lock for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley
    Lock for Warriors is number 13 Josh Curran

Interchange

  • Interchange for Roosters is number 9 Sam Verrills
    Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Kodi Nikorima
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 11 Nat Butcher
    Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Bunty Afoa
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Fletcher Baker
    Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Eliesa Katoa
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 22 Daniel Suluka-Fifita
    Interchange for Warriors is number 18 Taniela Otukolo

Reserves

  • Replacement for Roosters is number 18 Lachlan Lam
    Replacement for Warriors is number 25 Valingi Kepu

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Touch Judge: Kasey Badger
  • Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall

Last updated:

Vodafone Warriors: Prop Matt Lodge has been ruled out with injury and his place is taken by Bunty Afoa, with Taniela Otukolo added to the bench. Jack Murchie is out, replaced by Eliesa Katoa on the bench, while the Vodafone Warriors are also without key forwards Jazz Tevaga (suspended), Ben Murdoch-Masila (leg) and Tohu Harris (knee), Dallin Watene-Zelezniak comes onto the wing. Marcelo Montoya received a four-game ban at the judiciary on Tuesday. Rocco Berry and Valingi Kepu were retained in the 19 24 hours before kick-off.

Key match-up

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves v Addin Fonua-Blake: Two passionate international enforcers go head-to-head in a battle for the ages at the SCG. JWH has set the tone in recent weeks, none more so than getting under the skin of the Broncos in round five. Fonua-Blake has relished the captaincy in recent weeks, averaging 171 running metres and proving a handful in the middle with his offloading ability.

Stat attack

The Vodafone Warriors lead the competition in a couple of quirky areas including charge downs (3), intercepts (3) and 40/20 kicks (2), indicating they're searching for those momentum swinging plays. The Vodafone Warriors (1700) and Roosters (1693) are also in the top four for most tackles made after five rounds.

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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