Vodafone Warriors interim head coach Stacey Jones has made four backline changes plus two on the interchange bench for the club’s second Homecoming Series clash against Melbourne at Mount Smart Stadium on Friday (8.00pm kick-off).
Jones has lost centre Jesse Arthars (thigh strain) and is again without interchange prop Aaron Pene, who was ruled out late with a virus last week.
Also unavailable is second rower Jack Murchie, who has remained Australia to be with his expectant partner.
With Rocco Berry (foot injury) another out of contention, Jones has moved left wing Marcelo Montoya into the centres with Edward Kosi back on the wing for his second outing in three games.
Montoya has been used on the wing in his last 22 matches for the Vodafone Warriors but his 86-game career includes more than 20 starts in the centres.
The other backline changes are at fullback and standoff with Chanel Harris-Tavita moving from fullback into the halves replacing Daejarn Asi and Reece Walsh, used off the bench against Canberra on Saturday, returning to the starting line-up in the #1 jersey.
Match: Warriors v Storm
Round 20 -
Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece WalshFullback for Storm is number 1 Nick Meaney
Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-ZelezniakWinger for Storm is number 2 Dean Ieremia
Centre for Warriors is number 3 Marcelo MontoyaCentre for Storm is number 3 Marion Seve
Centre for Warriors is number 4 Adam PompeyCentre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
Winger for Warriors is number 5 Edward KosiWinger for Storm is number 5 Grant Anderson
Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Chanel Harris-TavitaFive-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun JohnsonHalfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes
Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-BlakeProp for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde EganHooker for Storm is number 9 Harry Grant
Prop for Warriors is number 10 Tohu HarrisProp for Storm is number 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Euan Aitken2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Josh Curran2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
Lock for Warriors is number 13 Jazz TevagaLock for Storm is number 15 Tui Kamikamica
Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Freddy LussickInterchange for Storm is number 13 Josh King
Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Bunty AfoaInterchange for Storm is number 14 Tyran Wishart
Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Eliesa KatoaInterchange for Storm is number 16 Alec MacDonald
Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Jackson FreiInterchange for Storm is number 21 Tom Eisenhuth
Replacement for Warriors is number 20 Daejarn AsiReplacement for Storm is number 18 Chris Lewis
- Referee: Peter Gough
- Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
- Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
- Senior Review Official: Adam Gee
Eliesa Katoa, brought in late to replace Pene last week, is confirmed on the interchange for what will be his first NRL game at Mount Smart Stadium after playing his first 41 matches on Australian soil since his 2020 debut.
Coming onto the interchange for just his second NRL appearance is prop Jackson Frei, who made his debut against Canterbury Bankstown last August.
Recalled on the bench is recently re-signed hooker Freddy Lussick with prop Bunty Afoa rounding out the interchange.
The forward pack is unchanged from the one originally selected to face Canberra.
As well as Arthars, Pene, Murchie and Berry other players unavailable were Bayley Sironen (eye socket) and Ben Murdoch-Masila (elbow), who remain on the injured list.
The Vodafone Warriors have lost their last 12 contests with the Storm (four at Mount Smart Stadium).
Their last success in 2015 was one of the most memorable in the club’s history, the 28-14 victory in Auckland which featured Nathan Friend’s upside-down-between-the-legs offload which led to an astonishing Tuimoala Lolohea try.
This will be the 49th clash between the clubs with Melbourne holding a 30-16 advantage with two draws. In 22 matches at Mount Smart Stadium, the ledger favours the Storm 13-9.
VODAFONE WARRIORS v MELBOURNE STORM
Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
8.00pm, Friday, July 29
1 REECE WALSH
2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK
3 MARCELO MONTOYA
4 ADAM POMPEY
5 EDWARD KOSI
6 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA
7 SHAUN JOHNSON
8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE
9 WAYDE EGAN
10 TOHU HARRIS (c)
11 EUAN AITKEN
12 JOSH CURRAN
13 JAZZ TEVAGA
14 FREDDY LUSSICK
15 BUNTY AFOA
16 ELIESA KATOA
17 JACKSON FREI
18 TOM ALE
20 DAEJARN ASI
21 RONALD VOLKMAN
22 VILIAMI VAILEA
23 TANIELA OTUKOLO
Head coach | STACEY JONES