Several line-up changes have been made for the One New Zealand Warriors’ second NRL Preseason Challenge clash against the Melbourne Storm at Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch on Sunday (2.50pm kick-off).
Centre Adam Pompey, who played for the Māori All Stars, has been replaced by Viliami Vailea while standoff Te Maire Martin is remaining in Auckland to be with partner Bridget following the birth of their first child, a daughter.
With Luke Metcalf ruled out yesterday with a hamstring injury, 2022 rookie Ronald Volkman comes in to fill Martin's spot.
The rest of the starting line-up remains the same as named on Tuesday but there are three changes on the extended bench where centre Ali Leiataua, fullback Ben Farr and half Paul Roache come in for Metcalf, Volkman and Vailea, All three appeared in last week's 48-12 trial win over Wests Tigers.
The starting line-up is still significantly remodelled from the combination used against the Tigers at Mount Smart Stadium.
As well as Vailea, only new signings Brayden Wiliame and second rower Jackson Ford are there again as is hat-trick scoring winger Marcelo Montoya.
Fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and second rower Marata Niukore make their comeback appearances for the One New Zealand Warriors with fellow new signing Mitchell Barnett named in the starting front row.
Match: Warriors v Storm
Round 2 -
Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-KlokstadFullback for Storm is number 1 Nick Meaney
Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-ZelezniakWinger for Storm is number 2 Will Warbrick
Centre for Warriors is number 3 Brayden WiliameCentre for Storm is number 3 Reimis Smith
Centre for Warriors is number 4 Viliami VaileaCentre for Storm is number 4 Young Tonumaipea
Winger for Warriors is number 5 Marcelo MontoyaWinger for Storm is number 20 Xavier Coates
Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Ronald VolkmanFive-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 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde EganHooker for Storm is number 9 Harry Grant
Prop for Warriors is number 10 Mitchell BarnettProp for Storm is number 10 Christian Welch
2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Jackson Ford2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Trent Loiero
2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Marata Niukore2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Eliesa Katoa
Lock for Warriors is number 13 Tohu HarrisLock for Storm is number 15 Josh King
Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Dylan WalkerInterchange for Storm is number 5 Grant Anderson
Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Bunty AfoaInterchange for Storm is number 14 Bronson Garlick
Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Josh CurranInterchange for Storm is number 16 Chris Lewis
Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Tom AleInterchange for Storm is number 17 Tui Kamikamica
Reserve for Warriors is number 18 Ali LeiatauaReserve for Storm is number 13 Tom Eisenhuth
Reserve for Warriors is number 20 Ben FarrReserve for Storm is number 18 Jonah Pezet
Reserve for Warriors is number 21 Freddy LussickReserve for Storm is number 19 Tyran Wishart
Reserve for Warriors is number 22 Taine TuaupikiReserve for Storm is number 21 Joe Chan
Reserve for Warriors is number 23 Bayley SironenReserve for Storm is number 22 Aaron Pene
Reserve for Warriors is number 24 Paul RoacheReserve for Storm is number 23 Jordan Grant
Reserve for Warriors is number 25 Edward KosiReserve for Storm is number 24 Sualauvi Faalogo
Reserve for Warriors is number 26 Demitric SifakulaReserve for Storm is number 25 Alec MacDonald
Reserve for Storm is number 26 Dean Ieremia
- Referee: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
- Senior Review Official: Matt Noyen
The other inclusions are Kiwi winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Mate Ma’a Tonga prop Addin Fonua-Blake, hooker Wayde Egan and captain Tohu Harris.
As indicated early in the preseason, Webster is looking to Dylan Walker to reprise the roving interchange role he filled at Manly in the #14 jersey while the other players in line for the bench spots for the season opener against Newcastle are middle forwards Bunty Afoa and Tom Ale – both starters against the Tigers – and back rower Josh Curran.
While Barnett and Walker will play for the One New Zealand Warriors for the first time, Nicoll-Klokstad last turned out for the club in 2018 and Niukore in 2017.
Of the first 17 players named, the only survivors from the line-up used in the final round against Gold Coast last season are Watene-Zelezniak, Vailea, Fonua-Blake, Egan, Harris, Curran, Afoa and Ale.
The rest of the extended bench comprises other players from the top 30 NRL squad as well as promising development player Demitric Sifakula. Also named is fullback Taine Tuaupiki, just upgraded to the fulltime NRL squad.
The only NRL squad players not considered were Metcalf, Jazz Tevaga, Rocco Berry and Valingi Kepu who are all on the injured list.
The One New Zealand Warriors sit third on the Preseason Challenge ladder with 14 points after picking up the biggest win – and scoring the most points – in the opening round of the Preseason Challenge.
ONE NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS v MELBOURNE STORM
2.50pm, Sunday, February 19, 2023
Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch
ONE NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
1 CHARNZE NICOLL-KLOKSTAD
2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK
3 BRAYDEN WILIAME
4 VILIAMI VAILEA
5 MARCELO MONTOYA
6 RONALD VOLKMAN
7 SHAUN JOHNSON
8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE
9 WAYDE EGAN
10 MITCHELL BARNETT
11 JACKSON FORD
12 MARATA NIUKORE
13 TOHU HARRIS (c)
14 DYLAN WALKER
15 BUNTY AFOA
16 JOSH CURRAN
17 TOM ALE
18 ALI LEIATAUA
20 BEN FARR
21 FREDDY LUSSICK
22 TAINE TUAUPIKI
23 BAYLEY SIRONEN
24 PAUL ROACHE
25 EDWARD KOSI
26 DEMITRIC SIFAKULA
Head coach | ANDREW WEBSTER