Mate Ma'a Tonga international Ben Murdoch-Masila is back from injury to beef up the Vodafone Warriors' bench for today's eighth-round NRL match against the Canberra Raiders at Moreton Daily Stadium in Redcliffe (3.00pm kick-off local time; 5.00pm NZT).
Named on the extended bench on Tuesday, Murdoch-Masila returns from a leg injury after missing the last three matches against North Queensland, the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne.
He was on the field for only 18 minutes in the fourth-round win over Brisbane before being helped from the field with a leg injury. This will be only his third outing of the season.
He joins Bunty Afoa, Eliesa Katoa and former Raiders back rower Jack Murchie to round out a big interchange.
Taniela Otukolo is 18th man with Edward Kosi 19th.
Just four days after joining the Vodafone Warriors, standoff Daejarn Asi makes his club debut today.
With first-choice Chanel Harris-Tavita sidelined after rupturing a testicle in the Anzac Day loss to Melbourne, the 21-year-old Christchurch-born Asi has been brought straight into the starting line-up at standoff.
A North Queensland player at the start of the week, he becomes Vodafone Warrior #269 in what will be his 11th career appearance since his debut for the Cowboys in 2020.
Asi has had just two field sessions with his new club as he prepares to run the left edge.
Young centres Rocco Berry and Viliami Vailea return to the NRL stage to give the Vodafone Warriors one of the youngest backlines in the club's history.
Vailea hasn't played since he was paired in the centres with Berry in the season-opening encounter with St George Illawarra while Berry has missed the last four matches.
The 2021 rookies have both been listed on the wings, Berry replacing injured Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Vailea in for Kosi.
As well as Watene-Zelezniak (concussion), back rower Josh Curran (knee) is out while interchange prop Aaron Pene is suspended this week after taking an early guilty plea on a grade two careless high tackle charge from last night’s match.
Halfback-hooker Kodi Nikorima remains sidelined after being placed in isolation following a positive Covid test which eliminated him from the Melbourne trip.
Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece WalshFullback for Raiders is number 1 Jordan Rapana
Winger for Warriors is number 3 Jesse ArtharsWinger for Raiders is number 2 Nick Cotric
Centre for Warriors is number 2 Rocco BerryCentre for Raiders is number 3 Matthew Timoko
Centre for Warriors is number 5 Viliami VaileaCentre for Raiders is number 4 Semi Valemei
Winger for Warriors is number 4 Adam PompeyWinger for Raiders is number 5 Xavier Savage
Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 21 Daejarn AsiFive-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun JohnsonHalfback for Raiders is number 7 Brad Schneider
Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-BlakeProp for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papalii
Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde EganHooker for Raiders is number 16 Adam Elliott
Prop for Warriors is number 10 Matthew LodgeProp for Raiders is number 10 Joseph Tapine
2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Euan Aitken2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Hudson Young
2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Bayley Sironen2nd Row for Raiders is number 15 Corey Harawira-Naera
Lock for Warriors is number 13 Jazz TevagaLock for Raiders is number 13 Ryan Sutton
Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Bunty AfoaInterchange for Raiders is number 9 Tom Starling
Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Eliesa KatoaInterchange for Raiders is number 14 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Jack MurchieInterchange for Raiders is number 17 Corey Horsburgh
Interchange for Warriors is number 20 Ben Murdoch-MasilaInterchange for Raiders is number 18 Harry Rushton
Replacement for Warriors is number 14 Taniela OtukoloReplacement for Raiders is number 19 Matt Frawley
- Referee: Chris Butler
- Touch Judge: Nick Morel
- Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy
With Curran unavailable, Euan Aitken and Bayley Sironen are in the second row with Jazz Tevaga at loose forward.
Also brought into the expanded squad for the first time this season is prop Jackson Frei, who made his one and only NRL appearance in the Vodafone Warriors’ 24-10 22nd-round win over Canterbury Bankstown at Moreton Daily Stadium in August last year.
The players omitted from the initial 24-man squad were the injured Harris-Tavita, Pride Petterson-Robati, Junior Ratuva, Valingi Kepu and Jackson Frei.
The Vodafone Warriors welcome a return to their 2022 home base in Redcliffe after playing two of the competition’s heavyweights on the road over the last two weeks.
They had won three straight but losses to the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne have seen them slip out of the top eight to sit 11th but still level on points with eighth-placed South Sydney.
After winning two of their first three matches of the season, the Raiders have dropped their last four to fall to 15th spot.
The Vodafone Warriors and Canberra have a 4-4 record in their last eight meetings with the Raiders holding a 25-21 advantage in the 46 contests between the two sides since 1995.
VODAFONE WARRIORS v CANBERRA RAIDERS
Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe
3.00pm, Saturday, April 30
1 REECE WALSH
2 ROCCO BERRY
3 JESSE ARTHARS
4 ADAM POMPEY
5 VILIAMI VAILEA
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 JAZZ TEVAGA
14 TANIELA OTUKOLO
15 BUNTY AFOA
16 ELIESA KATOA
17 JACK MURCHIE
18 EDWARD KOSI
20 BEN MURDOCH-MASILA
21 DAEJARN ASI
22 PRIDE PETTERSON-ROBATI
23 JUNIOR RATUVA
24 VALINGI KEPU
25 JACKSON FREI
Head coach | Nathan BROWN