Front rower Aaron Pene has been brought into the starting line-up with Bunty Afoa reverting to his familiar interchange role for the Vodafone Warriors' sixth-round NRL encounter with the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Cricket Ground today (2.00pm kick-off local time; 4.00pm NZT).
It will be the first time Pene has started in his 14-match NRL career after being used off the bench 10 times by Melbourne and four since joining the Vodafone Warriors.
Afoa was listed to start after Matt Lodge was ruled out during the week but head coach Nathan Brown has opted for Afoa's experience on the interchange.
Alongside him are utility Kodi Nikorima, second rower/prop Eliesa Kato and hooker Taniela Otukolo.
Match: Roosters v Warriors
Round 6 -
Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James TedescoFullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece Walsh
Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel TupouWinger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph ManuCentre for Warriors is number 3 Jesse Arthars
Centre for Roosters is number 5 Kevin NaiqamaCentre for Warriors is number 4 Adam Pompey
Winger for Roosters is number 23 Joseph SuaaliiWinger for Warriors is number 5 Edward Kosi
Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Sam WalkerFive-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Chanel Harris-Tavita
Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Luke KearyHalfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson
Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-HargreavesProp for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
Hooker for Roosters is number 24 Drew HutchisonHooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
Prop for Roosters is number 10 Lindsay CollinsProp for Warriors is number 16 Aaron Pene
2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Sitili Tupouniua2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Euan Aitken
2nd Row for Roosters is number 16 Angus Crichton2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Bayley Sironen
Lock for Roosters is number 13 Victor RadleyLock for Warriors is number 13 Josh Curran
Interchange for Roosters is number 9 Sam VerrillsInterchange for Warriors is number 14 Kodi Nikorima
Interchange for Roosters is number 11 Nat ButcherInterchange for Warriors is number 15 Bunty Afoa
Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Fletcher BakerInterchange for Warriors is number 17 Eliesa Katoa
Interchange for Roosters is number 22 Daniel Suluka-FifitaInterchange for Warriors is number 18 Taniela Otukolo
Replacement for Roosters is number 18 Lachlan LamReplacement for Warriors is number 25 Valingi Kepu
- Referee: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Touch Judge: Kasey Badger
- Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall
Named as 18th man reserve is 19-year-old prop Valingi Kepu with Rocco Berry 19th man.
Valingi Kepu (19) and his twin brother Otukinekina were both included in the 24-man squad named on Tuesday for the match against the Roosters.
Otukinekina was omitted 24 hour before kick-off along with centre Viliami Vailea, front rower Pride Petterson-Robati, winger Junior Ratuva and train and trial player Jayden Corrigan.
Corrigan was added to 24 when first-choice prop Lodge was ruled out with a minor side strain on Wednesday.
Lodge’s injury means the Vodafone Warriors are without four of their most experienced forwards with Jazz Tevaga suspended and Tohu Harris (knee) and Ben Murdoch-Masila (leg) also side-lined along with second rower Jack Murchie (calf).
The Roosters have made some changes. They've lost Mate Ma'a Tonga prop Siosiua Taukeiaho and utility Connor Watson from the bench.
Teenaged sensation Joseph Suaalii (18) comes into the centres for Paul Momirovski while prop Daniel Suluka-Fifita and halfback Drew Hutchison have been added to the interchange with halfback Lachlan Lam and second rower Naufahu Whyte listed as the 18th and 19th players.