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Young backline lining up against Raiders

The Vodafone Warriors will field one of the most inexperienced and youngest backlines in the club’s history today.

Lining up outside senior statesman Shaun Johnson are six players ranging in age from just 19 years old (fullback Reece Walsh and winger Viliami Vailea) to no older than 23 (centres Adam Pompey and Jesse Arthars).

The other two are winger Rocco Berry (20) and club debutant Daejarn Asi (21).

In terms of NRL appearances, Pompey has the most with 40 and Vailea the fewest with three.

It means the six backs are an average age of just 20.8 with only 20.1 games each. With Johnson factored in the average age is 22.2 years old with an average 47.4 games each.

Canberra also has a backline featuring young players in Nick Cotric (23), Matthew Timoko (22), Semi Valemei (23), Xavier Savage (20) and Brad Schneider (21) but that’s offset by Jack Wighton (29) and Jordan Rapana (32) making the average age 24.2.

It’s in the experience stakes where the Canberra backline benefits with an average of 77.1 games a player, Wighton with 206 appearances, Rapana 164 and Cotric 112.   

Canberra’s 17-man squad features five New Zealand-born internationals in Kiwis Rapana, Joe Tapine, former Vodafone Warrior Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Corey Harawira-Naera plus Auckland-born Kangaroos and Queensland prop Josh Papalii.

The only other New Zealand-born player in the squad is Ellerslie Eagles junior Timoko.


Age Games
Reece Walsh 19 22
Rocco Berry 20 11
Jesse Arthars 23 35
Adam Pompey 23 40
Viliami Vailea 19 3
Daejarn Asi 21 10
Shaun Johnson 31 211
Averages 20.8 20.1


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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