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Lodge and Tevaga back for Anzac Day clash in Melbourne

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.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Storm is number 1 Ryan Papenhuyzen
    Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece Walsh
  • Winger for Storm is number 2 Nick Meaney
    Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
  • Centre for Storm is number 3 Reimis Smith
    Centre for Warriors is number 3 Jesse Arthars
  • Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
    Centre for Warriors is number 4 Adam Pompey
  • Winger for Storm is number 5 Xavier Coates
    Winger for Warriors is number 5 Edward Kosi
  • Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
    Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Chanel Harris-Tavita
  • Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes
    Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson

Forwards

  • Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
    Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
  • Hooker for Storm is number 9 Harry Grant
    Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
  • Prop for Storm is number 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
    Prop for Warriors is number 10 Matthew Lodge
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Euan Aitken
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 13 Josh Curran
  • Lock for Storm is number 13 Josh King
    Lock for Warriors is number 20 Jazz Tevaga

Interchange

  • Interchange for Storm is number 14 Brandon Smith
    Interchange for Warriors is number 12 Bayley Sironen
  • Interchange for Storm is number 16 Trent Loiero
    Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Bunty Afoa
  • Interchange for Storm is number 17 Tepai Moeroa
    Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Aaron Pene
  • Interchange for Storm is number 18 Chris Lewis
    Interchange for Warriors is number 18 Taniela Otukolo

Reserves

  • Replacement for Storm is number 15 Tyran Wishart
    Replacement for Warriors is number 22 Rocco Berry

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Senior Review Official: Gerard Sutton

Last updated:

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

VODAFONE WARRIORS

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

Interchange:

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

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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