Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Jackson Ford are confirmed starters in the One New Zealand Warriors’ first home game of the season at Mount Smart Stadium against Canterbury Bankstown today (4.00pm kick-off; game day sponsor: One New Zealand).
It means the home side will line up as selected with Josh Curran named as 18th man.
Fullback Nicoll-Klokstad and second rower Ford missed last Saturday’s impressive 26-12 win over North Queensland after head knocks in the clash against the Sydney Roosters on March 11 but have come through concussion protocols this week.
Ironically Nicoll-Klokstad’s first NRL match at Mount Smart since re-joining the club is against the same side he faced in his last home game in his first stint as a Warrior.
That was on June 23, 2017 when the Warriors beat the Bulldogs 21-14.
Omitted from the original 22-man squad yesterday were fullback Taine Tuaupiki, centre Rocco Berry and back rower Demitric Sifakula.
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
The One New Zealand Warriors are without Mitchell Barnett (neck) and Wayde Egan (concussion) this week.
In Egan’s absence back-up hooker 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. Ford replaces Barnett.
After captain Tohu Harris’ landmark 200th NRL appearance against the Cowboys another milestone will be achieved today 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.