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Team update: Pene in run-on side to face Roosters

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.

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:

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. 

 

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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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