Two injury-enforced changes and a switch in the halves are the features of the One New Zealand Warriors’ line-up named to take on the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs in Friday night’s 11th-round NRL encounter at Accor Stadium in Sydney (6.00pm kick-off local time; 8.00pm NZT).
With back rower Jackson Ford (concussion) and winger Edward Kosi (knee) ruled out, Josh Curran has been brought in to replace regular starter Ford while centre Rocco Berry has been called in for his first NRL appearance of the year with Marcelo Montoya moving onto the wing for Kosi.
One New Zealand Warriors head coach Andrew Webster has also made a key selection decision in the halves by naming Ronald Volkman in the #6 jersey, a move which results in utility Dylan Walker reverting to his preferred role coming off the interchange bench.
Walker was moved into the halves after first-choice standoff Te Maire Martin broke his fibula against Newcastle a month ago.
Earlier he and Jazz Tevaga had given the One New Zealand Warriors a potent double act from the bench, a partnership broken up by Walker’s shift to the halves and then the calf injury which has sidelined Tevaga for some time.
Match: Bulldogs v Warriors
Round 11 -
Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Hayze PerhamFullback for Warriors is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Jacob KirazWinger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Jake AverilloCentre for Warriors is number 3 Rocco Berry
Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Paul AlamotiCentre for Warriors is number 4 Adam Pompey
Winger for Bulldogs is number 19 Blake WilsonWinger for Warriors is number 5 Marcelo Montoya
Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Josh ReynoldsFive-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Ronald Volkman
Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Matt BurtonHalfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson
Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Max KingProp for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Reed MahoneyHooker for Warriors is number 14 Freddy Lussick
Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Tevita Pangai JuniorProp for Warriors is number 10 Bunty Afoa
2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Corey Waddell2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Josh Curran
2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Jacob Preston2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Marata Niukore
Lock for Bulldogs is number 17 Harrison EdwardsLock for Warriors is number 13 Tohu Harris
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 13 Raymond Faitala-MarinerInterchange for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Karl OloapuInterchange for Warriors is number 15 Dylan Walker
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Jayden OkunborInterchange for Warriors is number 17 Tom Ale
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Franklin PeleInterchange for Warriors is number 18 Bayley Sironen
Replacement for Bulldogs is number 23 Kurtis MorrinReplacement for Warriors is number 20 Taine Tuaupiki
- Referee: Ben Cummins
- Touch Judge: Peter Gough
- Touch Judge: Chris Sutton
- Senior Review Official: Gerard Sutton
Webster said today that the team’s interests were best served by having Walker on the interchange to add impact in the middle of the park.
Walker partnered Shaun Johnson in the halves for four matches but makes way for the 20-year-old Volkman, who has been impressive for the club’s successful New South Wales side.
Volkman will make his fourth NRL appearance, his second this season after last being used in the dramatic 32-30 win over Cronulla Sutherland in round five.
Berry’s return to the NRL stage is the other significant feature of the line-up named.
The 21-year-old hasn’t played at first-grade level since his 15th appearance in the round 14 match against the Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 11 months ago.
After being sidelined with a thigh injury he made a strong comeback with two tries and 142 metres from 14 runs for the New South Wales Cup side last Saturday.
Also on the comeback trail is new signing Luke Metcalf.
After starring in the club’s Preseason Challenge against the Wests Tigers in February, the former Cronulla Sutherland half missed the first 10 rounds of the season with a hamstring injury but will make his return in the New South Wales Cup against the Bulldogs on Saturday.