Utility Dylan Walker returns on the bench and Rocco Berry is back in the centres for the One New Zealand Warriors’ 17th-round encounter with the St George Illawarra Dragons at WIN Stadium in Wollongong on Friday night (8.00pm kick-off local time; 10.00pm NZT).
The 28-year-old Walker will make his 198th career appearance after a toe injury kept him out of the club’s last three matches against Brisbane, the Dolphins and Canberra.
He comes onto the interchange for Mitchell Barnett, who’s suspended for one match on a careless high tackle charge he picked up in the club’s 36-14 win over the Raiders on June 9.
Walker joins forwards Josh Curran, Bayley Sironen and Tom Ale on the bench.
Berry was sidelined for the clash in Canberra after being concussed in the victory over the Dolphins on June 3 but now returns for Ali Leiataua, ruled out of contention after suffering a hamstring injury in his NRL debut against the Raiders.
Berry lasted just 13 minutes of the match against the Dolphins after being the victim of a Jarrod Wallace shoulder charge. Wallace wasn’t sin binned but was later suspended for three games.
Match: Dragons v Warriors
Round 17 -
Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Tyrell SloanFullback for Warriors is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Winger for Dragons is number 2 Mathew FeagaiWinger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
Centre for Dragons is number 3 Mosese SuliCentre for Warriors is number 3 Rocco Berry
Centre for Dragons is number 4 Zac LomaxCentre for Warriors is number 4 Adam Pompey
Winger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele RavalawaWinger for Warriors is number 5 Marcelo Montoya
Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Jayden SullivanFive-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Luke Metcalf
Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben HuntHalfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson
Prop for Dragons is number 8 Francis MoloProp for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Jacob LiddleHooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
Prop for Dragons is number 10 Blake LawrieProp for Warriors is number 10 Bunty Afoa
2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Jack Bird2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Jackson Ford
2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Jaydn Su'a2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Marata Niukore
Lock for Dragons is number 13 Jack De BelinLock for Warriors is number 13 Tohu Harris
Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Talatau AmoneInterchange for Warriors is number 14 Dylan Walker
Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Michael MoloInterchange for Warriors is number 15 Josh Curran
Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Ben Murdoch-MasilaInterchange for Warriors is number 16 Bayley Sironen
Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Zane MusgroveInterchange for Warriors is number 17 Tom Ale
Replacement for Dragons is number 18 Jaiyden HuntReplacement for Warriors is number 18 Freddy Lussick
- Referee: Adam Gee
- Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
- Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
- Senior Review Official: Chris Butler
For the third week running One New Zealand Warriors head coach Andrew Webster has been able to name an unchanged starting pack with Addin Fonua-Blake, Wayde Egan and Bunty Afoa in the front row and Jackson Ford, Marata Niukore and Tohu Harris in the back row.
Second rower Curran plays his 50th match for the One New Zealand Warriors this week while four of his teammates move within two appearances of potentially reaching major milestones in the same match against Parramatta on July 8.
Halfback Shaun Johnson plays his 198th game for the club as he eyes becoming just the fifth member of the One New Zealand Warriors’ 200-game club.
Walker moves to 198 career games, Fonua-Blake chalks up his 148th appearance overall and Egan his 98th.
The One New Zealand Warriors head to Wollongong sitting sixth on the ladder on 20 points with eight wins and six losses while the Dragons are 15th with four wins and 10 defeats. However, in their last start before the bye they beat fourth-placed South Sydney and toppled the Roosters in round 12 while they pushed Penrith all the way before losing 18-26.
The last time the two teams met in Wollongong coincided with the Warriors’ first and only success over St George Illawarra at WIN Stadium. On that occasion, they eked out an 18-12 victory following a run of 10 straight losses dating back to 2000.