Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Jackson Ford are on track to return for the One New Zealand Warriors’ first game of the season at Mount Smart Stadium against Canterbury Bankstown on Sunday (4.00pm kick-off; game day sponsor: One New Zealand).
Fullback Nicoll-Klokstad and second rower Ford missed Saturday’s impressive 26-12 win over North Queensland after head knocks in the clash against the Sydney Roosters on March 11.
After outstanding displays in the season-opening win over Newcastle, Nicoll-Klokstad has come back into the fullback spot and Ford has been named to again partner fellow new signing Marata Niukore in the second row.
Nicoll-Klokstad’s return results in debutant Taine Tuaupiki moving to the extended bench while Ford replaces the injured Mitchell Barnett (neck).
Also missing this week is experienced hooker Wayde Egan (concussion), whose superb form has seen him score a try in each of the first three matches.
Match: Warriors v Bulldogs
Round 4 -
Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-KlokstadFullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Hayze Perham
Winger for Warriors is number 2 Edward KosiWinger for Bulldogs is number 2 Jacob Kiraz
Centre for Warriors is number 3 Viliami VaileaCentre for Bulldogs is number 3 Jake Averillo
Centre for Warriors is number 4 Adam PompeyCentre for Bulldogs is number 4 Paul Alamoti
Winger for Warriors is number 5 Marcelo MontoyaWinger for Bulldogs is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Te Maire MartinFive-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Matt Burton
Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun JohnsonHalfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Kyle Flanagan
Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-BlakeProp for Bulldogs is number 8 Max King
Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Freddy LussickHooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Reed Mahoney
Prop for Warriors is number 10 Bunty AfoaProp for Bulldogs is number 10 Ryan Sutton
2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Jackson Ford2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Viliame Kikau
2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Marata Niukore2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Jacob Preston
Lock for Warriors is number 13 Tohu HarrisLock for Bulldogs is number 13 Raymond Faitala-Mariner
Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Dylan WalkerInterchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Jayden Okunbor
Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Bayley SironenInterchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Corey Waddell
Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Jazz TevagaInterchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Jayden Tanner
Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Tom AleInterchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Fa'amanu Brown
Replacement for Warriors is number 18 Josh CurranReplacement for Bulldogs is number 22 Jackson Topine
- Referee: Peter Gough
- Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
- Senior Review Official: Ben Cummins
In his absence Freddy Lussick will make his first appearance of the season and the 23rd of his career. He played for the club’s New South Wales Cup side in its first two matches before filling the 18th man role in Townsville last Saturday.
After captain Tohu Harris’ landmark 200th NRL appearance against the Cowboys another milestone will be achieved on Sunday when new signing Niukore plays his 100th first-grade match, the fourth for his hometown club after 96 outings for Parramatta.
The contest will also be notable for pitting two rookie head coaches against each other after being fellow assistant coaches with back-to-back premiers the Penrith Panthers.
In his first three matches as One New Zealand Warriors coach, Andrew Webster has guided the side to two wins and a loss to sit fourth on the ladder while his ex-colleague Cameron Ciraldo started his career with a loss to Manly Warringah before rebounding with wins over Melbourne and the Wests Tigers; the Bulldogs are lying eighth.
Sunday’s NRL encounter is the third leg of a triple header involving the Bulldogs, the two clubs first meeting in the SG Ball Cup (11.40am kick-off) and then in the New South Wales Cup (1.30pm).
ONE NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS v CANTERBURY BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS
4.00pm, Sunday, March 26, 2023
Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
ONE NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
1 CHARNZE NICOLL-KLOKSTAD
2 EDWARD KOSI
3 VILIAMI VAILEA
4 ADAM POMPEY
5 MARCELO MONTOYA
6 TE MAIRE MARTIN
7 SHAUN JOHNSON
8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE
9 FREDDY LUSSICK
10 BUNTY AFOA
11 JACKSON FORD
12 MARATA NIUKORE
13 TOHU HARRIS (c)
14 DYLAN WALKER
15 BAYLEY SIRONEN
16 JAZZ TEVAGA
17 TOM ALE
18 JOSH CURRAN
20 TAINE TUAUPIKI
21 RONALD VOLKMAN
22 ROCCO BERRY
23 DEMITRIC SIFAKULA
Head coach | ANDREW WEBSTER