While the focus will be on Jazz Tevaga’s comeback, Patrick (Paterika) Vaivai’s late inclusion on the bench is another feature of the One New Zealand Warriors’ side to face the Roosters in today’s second-round New South Wales Cup clash at Allianz Stadium in Sydney (12.40pm kick-off local time; 2.40pm NZT).
The former Newcastle and Gold Coast forward comes onto the interchange replacing Nick Halalilo who has been named as 18th man.
Vaivai made six NRL appearances for Parramatta in 2014-15 and 10 with the Titans in 2017 before stints with the Leigh Centurions (2018) and Toulouse Olympique (2019-2021).
He switched to rugby union signing for SU Agen in 2021 but returned to Auckland in 2022 to link up with the Te Atatu Roosters.
Vaivai apart, the One New Zealand Warriors are as selected for today’s match which sees the 108-game NRL veteran return from a shoulder injury which kept him out of the last five rounds of the 2022 campaign before he had post-season surgery.
His recovery was then hampered by a hernia operation late last year which kept him out of the preseason trials as well as the first round of the 2023 season.
Match: Roosters v Warriors
Round 2 -
Fullback for Roosters is number 1 Ethan KingFullback for Warriors is number 1 Taine Tuaupiki
Winger for Roosters is number 2 Allan FitzgibbonWinger for Warriors is number 2 Setu Tu
Centre for Roosters is number 3 Ethan Clark-WoodCentre for Warriors is number 3 Ali Leiataua
Centre for Roosters is number 4 Jordan SwannCentre for Warriors is number 4 Viliami Vailea
Winger for Roosters is number 12 Vuate KarawalevuWinger for Warriors is number 5 Sanele Aukusitino
Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Joseph Whitikama Temara TaipariFive-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Ben Farr
Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Sandon SmithHalfback for Warriors is number 7 Ronald Volkman
Prop for Roosters is number 8 Dylan CliffordProp for Warriors is number 8 Zyon Maiu'u
Hooker for Roosters is number 14 Thomas DeakinHooker for Warriors is number 9 Freddy Lussick
Prop for Roosters is number 17 Luke HodgeProp for Warriors is number 10 Isaiah Vagana
2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Elie El-Zakham2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Kalani Going
2nd Row for Roosters is number 21 Siua Wong2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Michael Sio
Lock for Roosters is number 13 Josh BevanLock for Warriors is number 13 Jazz Tevaga
Interchange for Roosters is number 9 Tyler MoriartyInterchange for Warriors is number 14 Paul Roache
Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Thomas WorthingtonInterchange for Warriors is number 15 Maia Sands
Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Riley MeynInterchange for Warriors is number 16 Tahi Baggaley
Interchange for Roosters is number 26 Callum EllisInterchange for Warriors is number 23 Paterika Vaivai
Replacement for Roosters is number 23 Coby Thomas
Reserve for Warriors is number 17 Nicholas Halalilo
He has been named to make his return at loose forward for the Slade Griffin-coached side which opened its account with a decisive 42-20 win over Newcastle last Saturday.
Tevaga (27) will have NRL company around him with Viliami Vailea in the centres, Ronald Volkman at standoff and Freddy Lussick at hooker with NRL squad member Taine Tuaupiki at fullback.
Vailea, Volkman, Lussick and Tuaupiki all delivered impressively in last week’s win with Vailea, Lussick and Tuaupiki among the try scorers while Volkman kick seven goals from seven attempts and also produced three line break assists and three try assists.
Tevaga slots in at loose forward replacing the suspended Demitric Sifakula while in the only other change to the starting line-up Sanele Aukusitino comes in for Moala Graham-Taufa on the wing.
The One New Zealand Warriors will seek a second straight win against a Roosters side which went down 18-44 to Westerns Suburbs in the opening round.
ONE NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS v SYDNEY ROOSTERS
12.40pm, Saturday, March 11, 2023
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
ONE NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
1 TAINE TUAUPIKI
2 SETU TU
3 ALI LEIATAUA
4 VILIAMI VAILEA
5 SANELE AUKUSTINO
6 BEN FARR
7 RONALD VOLKMAN
8 ZYON MAIUU
9 FREDDY LUSSICK
10 ISAIAH VAGANA
11 KALANI GOING
12 MICHAEL SIO (c)
13 JAZZ TEVAGA
14 PAUL ROACHE
15 MAIA SANDS
16 TAHI BAGGALEY
23 PATRICK VAIVAI
17 NICK HALALILO
Head coach | SLADE GRIFFIN