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Fonua-Blake named, Volkman to debut against Panthers

Interim head coach Stacey Jones has made significant line-up changes for the Vodafone Warriors’ final game at their Redcliffe base before their Mount Smart Stadium homecoming match in Auckland on July 3.

In his second game since stepping in for the departed Nathan Brown, Jones has highlighted his selection by handing 19-year-old Ronald Volkman his NRL and club debut in the 15th-round encounter with the competition-leading Penrith Panthers at Moreton Daily Stadium on Saturday (5.30pm kick-off local time; 7.30pm NZT).

Volkman, who arrived from the Sydney Roosters last month, is poised to become Vodafone Warrior #272 partnering veteran Shaun Johnson in the halves.

Set to re-join the side is first-choice prop Addin Fonua-Blake after being sidelined with a foot injury since the round 11 loss to the St George Illawarra Dragons. He has been named on the extended bench in #23.

There’s a change in the centres with Jesse Arthars coming in for Rocco Berry. Arthars played seven of the first eight games of the season including each of the club’s four wins over the Wests Tigers, Brisbane, North Queensland and Canberra but picked up a shoulder injury in the golden point win against the Raiders.

With Ben Murdoch-Masila (elbow) ruled out, prop Bunty Afoa is listed to start his 99th career game although a front row shuffle is likely if Fonua-Blake comes through training this week.

Experienced second rower Euan Aitken (concussion) has been ruled out which results in Josh Curran coming into the starting back row.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece Walsh
    Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan Edwards
  • Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
    Winger for Panthers is number 2 Taylan May
  • Centre for Warriors is number 3 Jesse Arthars
    Centre for Panthers is number 3 Izack Tago
  • Centre for Warriors is number 4 Adam Pompey
    Centre for Panthers is number 4 Stephen Crichton
  • Winger for Warriors is number 5 Marcelo Montoya
    Winger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'o
  • Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Ronald Volkman
    Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Jarome Luai
  • Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson
    Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Nathan Cleary

Forwards

  • Prop for Warriors is number 10 Jazz Tevaga
    Prop for Panthers is number 8 Moses Leota
  • Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
    Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Apisai Koroisau
  • Prop for Warriors is number 23 Addin Fonua-Blake
    Prop for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Jack Murchie
    2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 13 Josh Curran
    2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Liam Martin
  • Lock for Warriors is number 12 Tohu Harris
    Lock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo

Interchange

  • Interchange for Warriors is number 8 Bunty Afoa
    Interchange for Panthers is number 14 Mitch Kenny
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Chanel Harris-Tavita
    Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Scott Sorensen
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Dunamis Lui
    Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Spencer Leniu
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Bayley Sironen
    Interchange for Panthers is number 17 Jaeman Salmon

Reserves

  • Replacement for Warriors is number 20 Eliesa Katoa
    Replacement for Panthers is number 19 Matthew Eisenhuth

Match Officials

  • Referee: Peter Gough
  • Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
  • Senior Review Official: Chris Butler

Last updated:

Chanel Harris-Tavita, moved out of the halves to make way for Volkman, is on the bench to provide utility cover.

The highly regarded Volkman, initially signed on a three-year deal from next season, joined the Vodafone Warriors early last month and will become the seventh player to make his club debut this year.

After coming through the Roosters’ age group sides and the North Sydney Bears in the New South Wales Cup, he has had two outings with the Vodafone Warriors’ feeder club Redcliffe in the Hostplus Cup (Queensland Cup) in the past fortnight.

The Dolphins beat the Ipswich Jets 54-0 on June 4 and the Mackay Cutters 34-32 last week, Volkman marking his second outing with a try, a line break, line break assist and try assist plus five tackle breaks.

He and the rest of his teammates face a huge challenge taking on Penrith in the Vodafone Warriors’ farewell appearance at their adopted home ground in Redcliffe. The Panthers, four points clear at the top of the ladder, have lost only once while scoring the most points (416) and conceding the fewest (152).

Hooker Wayde Egan makes his 50th Vodafone Warriors appearance, achieving it against his former club. The July 3 homecoming match will be his first at Mount Smart Stadium. 

VODAFONE WARRIORS v PENRITH PANTHERS

Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe
5.30pm, Saturday, June 18

VODAFONE WARRIORS

1 REECE WALSH
2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK
3 JESSE ARTHARS
4 ADAM POMPEY
5 MARCELO MONTOYA
6 RONALD VOLKMAN
7 SHAUN JOHNSON
8 BUNTY AFOA
9 WAYDE EGAN
10 JAZZ TEVAGA
11 JACK MURCHIE
12 TOHU HARRIS (c)
13 JOSH CURRAN
Extended bench:
14 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA
15 AARON PENE
16 DUNAMIS LUI
17 BAYLEY SIRONEN
18 FREDDY LUSSICK
20 ELIESA KATOA
21 ROCCO BERRY
22 DAEJARN ASI
23 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE

Head coach | STACEY JONES

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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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