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Confirmed Line-up: Afoa starts, Ale on bench for first game on year

Interchange regular Bunty Afoa starts at loose forward in the Vodafone Warriors' Homecoming Series clash against the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs at Mount Smart Stadium tonight (8.00pm kick-off).

He swaps with Josh Curran who goes back to a bench also including 23-year-old Tom Ale who is having his first NRL outing in more than a year.  

Ale, who made his debut in September, 2020, will play his fourth NRL match.

After recovering from a late-season ACL injury in 2021, he recently began his comeback with feeder club Redcliffe in the Hostplus Cup, impressing in the club's last three matches averaging more than 100 metres a game.

Ale will be one of four players having their first NRL appearance for the club on Mount Smart Stadium, the others being Jack Murchie, Daejarn Asi and Viliami Vailea.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece Walsh
    Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Jake Averillo
  • Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Jacob Kiraz
  • Centre for Warriors is number 3 Viliami Vailea
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Aaron Schoupp
  • Centre for Warriors is number 4 Marcelo Montoya
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Braidon Burns
  • Winger for Warriors is number 5 Edward Kosi
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
  • Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Daejarn Asi
    Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Matt Burton
  • Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson
    Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Kyle Flanagan

Forwards

  • Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Max King
  • Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
    Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Jeremy Marshall-King
  • Prop for Warriors is number 10 Tohu Harris
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Paul Vaughan
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Euan Aitken
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Josh Jackson
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Jack Murchie
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 16 Harrison Edwards
  • Lock for Warriors is number 15 Bunty Afoa
    Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Raymond Faitala-Mariner

Interchange

  • Interchange for Warriors is number 13 Josh Curran
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 12 Jackson Topine
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Freddy Lussick
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Zach Dockar-Clay
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Eliesa Katoa
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Joe Stimson
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 22 Tom Ale
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Chris Patolo

Reserves

  • Replacement for Warriors is number 17 Jackson Frei
    Replacement for Bulldogs is number 20 Kurtis Morrin

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Butler
  • Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
  • Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein

Last updated:

Interim head coach Stacey Jones has made a change to his starting line-up with Bunty Afoa moved to loose forward and Josh Curran shifting to the bench alongside Ale, Freddy Lussick and Eliesa Katoa.

Jackson Frei is the 18th man.

The three players to drop off the extended bench are Bayley Sironen, Taniela Otukolo and Rocco Berry.

 

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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