Forwards Matt Lodge and Jazz Tevaga are back in the Vodafone Warriors’ squad for the traditional Anzac Day contest against Melbourne at AAMI Park next Monday (7.00pm kick-off local time; 9.00pm NZT).
Lodge sat out the gruelling battle against the Sydney Roosters on Sunday as he recovered from a side strain picked up in the fourth-round win over his former Brisbane club.
He’s cleared to return for his 88th career appearance and his first Anzac Day outing for the Vodafone Warriors.
Tevaga is also back, named on an extended bench after serving a two-match suspension for a dangerous contact offence in the Brisbane win. The invaluable energiser will move within four games of joining the Vodafone Warriors’ 100-game club if he plays on Monday.
Lodge and Tevaga significantly bolster a Vodafone Warriors pack which was short of four experienced campaigners for the encounter with the Roosters. Also missing were big Ben Murdoch-Masila and still-recovering captain Tohu Harris.
That stripped the Vodafone Warriors of a combined total of 440 NRL appearances and left head coach Nathan Brown with just three frontline props in captain Addin Fonua-Blake, Bunty Afoa and Aaron Pene to take on the Roosters.
The 17 named is the same as that originally named ahead of the match against the Roosters before Lodge was ruled out with Pene moving into the starting line-up and hooker Taniela Otukolo added to the interchange.
Fullback for Storm is number 1 Ryan PapenhuyzenFullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece Walsh
Winger for Storm is number 2 Nick MeaneyWinger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
Centre for Storm is number 3 Reimis SmithCentre for Warriors is number 3 Jesse Arthars
Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin OlamCentre for Warriors is number 4 Adam Pompey
Winger for Storm is number 5 Xavier CoatesWinger for Warriors is number 5 Edward Kosi
Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron MunsterFive-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Chanel Harris-Tavita
Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome HughesHalfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson
Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse BromwichProp for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
Hooker for Storm is number 9 Harry GrantHooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
Prop for Storm is number 10 Nelson Asofa-SolomonaProp for Warriors is number 10 Matthew Lodge
2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Euan Aitken
2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich2nd Row for Warriors is number 13 Josh Curran
Lock for Storm is number 13 Josh KingLock for Warriors is number 20 Jazz Tevaga
Interchange for Storm is number 14 Brandon SmithInterchange for Warriors is number 12 Bayley Sironen
Interchange for Storm is number 16 Trent LoieroInterchange for Warriors is number 15 Bunty Afoa
Interchange for Storm is number 17 Tepai MoeroaInterchange for Warriors is number 16 Aaron Pene
Interchange for Storm is number 18 Chris LewisInterchange for Warriors is number 18 Taniela Otukolo
Replacement for Storm is number 15 Tyran WishartReplacement for Warriors is number 22 Rocco Berry
- Referee: Chris Sutton
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Senior Review Official: Gerard Sutton
Apart from Tevaga, named in jersey #20, another included on the extended list is train and trial prop Garrett Smith, who scored a try for the Vodafone Warriors in their preseason win over Melbourne in February.
In the corresponding Anzac Day contest last year, fullback Reece Walsh and centre Rocco Berry launched their NRL careers. Of the 17 players used that night only eight are in the 24-man squad named today – Walsh, Berry, Kodi Nikorima, Bayley Sironen, Wayde Egan, Josh Curran, Tevaga and Afoa.
This will be the 12th Anzac Day match between the two clubs on a day when the Michael Moore Trophy will also be at stake.
The Storm have put together a run of 11 straight victories over the Vodafone Warriors since their last defeat at Mount Smart Stadium in 2015. They’ve also won the last five Anzac Day encounters since the Vodafone Warriors won 16-10 at AAMI Park in 2014.
Melbourne has won eight and lost two of the 11 Anzac matches so far with the first in 2009 drawn 14-14.
VODAFONE WARRIORS v MELBOURNE STORM
AAMI Park, Melbourne
7.00pm, Monday, April 25
1 REECE WALSH
2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK
3 JESSE ARTHARS
4 ADAM POMPEY
5 EDWARD KOSI
6 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA
7 SHAUN JOHNSON
8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE (c)
9 WAYDE EGAN
10 MATT LODGE
11 EUAN AITKEN
12 BAYLEY SIRONEN
13 JOSH CURRAN
14 KODI NIKORIMA
15 BUNTY AFOA
16 AARON PENE
17 ELIESA KATOA
18 TANIELA OTUKOLO
20 JAZZ TEVAGA
21 VILIAMI VAILEA
22 ROCCO BERRY
23 VALINGI KEPU
24 JUNIOR RATUVA
25 GARRETT SMITH
Head coach | Nathan BROWN