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Big day for the boy from 'Kura as he hits 100

Jazz Tevaga, always a man for the team cause, has his time in the spotlight as he makes his 100th NRL appearance in today's 11th-round NRL clash against St George Illawarra at Netstrata Stadium in Sydney (3.00pm kick-off local time; 5.00pm NZT).

The 26-year-old Christchurch-born, Papakura-raised utility forward will infuse the occasion with his own brand of energy, passion and intensity as he becomes the 27th player to appear in 100 matches for the Vodafone Warriors.

It’s a singular triumph for Tevaga, a devoted club man who’s the epitome of the true rugby league battler. He was unheralded when he turned up for the Vodafone Warriors' open under-20 trial at Cornwall Park in late 2013, making such an impression he was picked up for the following season.

It launched one of the more remarkable careers in the club's history. From such humble beginnings, the boy from 'Kura has gone on to represent the club 45 times in the old NYC - winning the grand final in 2014 - plus 34 games in the New South Wales Cup.

Now he becomes the 23rd club product to go on to 100 NRL appearances after making his debut with the Vodafone Warriors while the other four on the list started their careers with other clubs (Jacob Lillyman, Micheal Luck and Nathan Fien with the Cowboys and Tuivasa-Sheck with the Roosters).

After his debut against Melbourne in 2016 Tevaga made just 15 appearances in his first two NRL seasons but has been a frontline choice in his last five seasons.

While he reaches 100 games today, long-time teammate Bunty Afoa edges up to 95 appearances, leaving him on track to play his 100th in the emotional Mount Smart Stadium homecoming match against Wests Tigers on July 3.

Second rower Euan Aitken is back for Tevaga's 100th milestone appearance after missing last Saturday's 30-32 Magic Round loss to South Sydney.

Aitken had failed to come through HIA protocols last week after being concussed in a dangerous tackle by Cronulla Sutherland's Jesse Ramien on May 8. He was initially named to face the Rabbitohs only to be ruled out late in the week.

Captain Tohu Harris ultimately made his comeback off the bench after initially being named in the starting line-up for the South Sydney clash last weekend. Following his 29-minute stint against the Rabbitohs he’s listed to start again; it seems unlikely he will be swapped out this week as the Vodafone Warriors desperately search for their fifth win of the season after losing their last two.

The Vodafone Warriors have grim memories of their last clash against the Dragons in the opening round of the season when they had a 16-14 lead early in the second half but fell to a 16-28 loss.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Cody Ramsey
    Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece Walsh
  • Winger for Dragons is number 2 Mathew Feagai
    Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
  • Centre for Dragons is number 3 Moses Suli
    Centre for Warriors is number 3 Viliami Vailea
  • Centre for Dragons is number 4 Zac Lomax
    Centre for Warriors is number 4 Adam Pompey
  • Winger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele Ravalawa
    Winger for Warriors is number 5 Marcelo Montoya
  • Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Talatau Amone
    Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Daejarn Asi
  • Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben Hunt
    Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson

Forwards

  • Prop for Dragons is number 10 Blake Lawrie
    Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
  • Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Moses Mbye
    Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Jazz Tevaga
  • Prop for Dragons is number 18 Francis Molo
    Prop for Warriors is number 15 Ben Murdoch-Masila
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Jack Bird
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Euan Aitken
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 15 Tariq Sims
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 13 Jack Murchie
  • Lock for Dragons is number 13 Jack De Belin
    Lock for Warriors is number 12 Tohu Harris

Interchange

  • Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Jayden Sullivan
    Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Aaron Pene
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Aaron Woods
    Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Bunty Afoa
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Michael Molo
    Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Freddy Lussick
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 19 Tyrell Fuimaono
    Interchange for Warriors is number 18 Eliesa Katoa

Reserves

  • Replacement for Dragons is number 23 Josh Kerr
    Replacement for Warriors is number 21 Jesse Arthars

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
  • Senior Review Official: Matt Noyen

Last updated:

While the Dragons remain the Vodafone Warriors’ most challenging opponents (just 10 wins in 33 clashes), the ledger has been far more favourable in recent times. They have won six of the last 10, Tevaga a common denominator in five of them including the first in 2016 when he happened to be the starting hooker in an upset 26-10 win.

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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