No further changes for the One New Zealand Warriors ahead of their final regular season encounter with the Dolphins at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane today (3.00pm kick-off local time; 5.00pm NZT).
NRL debuts were confirmed for Kalani Going and Paul Roache at the 24-hour update yesterday.
Originally named on the extended bench on Tuesday, the pair were promoted to the interchange when the squad was reduced to 19.
Back rower Going (26) will become Warrior #283 replacing second rower Jackson Ford on the bench; like a number of his teammates, Ford is being rested a week out from the club’s first taste of finals football in five years.
Utility Roache, predominantly used at hooker for the club’s New South Wales Cup side, comes onto the interchange and is set to become Warrior #284.
The changes mean the One New Zealand Warriors will now have just nine of the players used in last Friday night’s top four-clinching 18-6 win over St George Illawarra – winger Marcelo Montoya, centres Adam Pompey and Rocco Berry, prop Bunty Afoa, hooker Freddy Lussick, back rowers Marata Niukore, Josh Curran and new captain Dylan Walker plus interchange forward Bayley Sironen.
Captain Tohu Harris (back) and standoff Luke Metcalf (hamstring) are injured while those being rested are fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, halfback Shaun Johnson, prop Addin Fonua-Blake, hooker Wayde Egan and Ford.
Match: Dolphins v Warriors
Round 27 -
Fullback for Dolphins is number 1 Hamiso Tabuai-FidowFullback for Warriors is number 1 Taine Tuaupiki
Winger for Dolphins is number 2 Jamayne IsaakoWinger for Warriors is number 2 Edward Kosi
Centre for Dolphins is number 3 Tesi NiuCentre for Warriors is number 3 Rocco Berry
Centre for Dolphins is number 18 Valynce Te WhareCentre for Warriors is number 4 Adam Pompey
Winger for Dolphins is number 5 Jack BostockWinger for Warriors is number 5 Marcelo Montoya
Five-Eighth for Dolphins is number 6 Kodi NikorimaFive-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Te Maire Martin
Halfback for Dolphins is number 7 Sean O'SullivanHalfback for Warriors is number 7 Ronald Volkman
Prop for Dolphins is number 8 Jesse BromwichProp for Warriors is number 8 Bunty Afoa
Hooker for Dolphins is number 9 Harrison GrahamHooker for Warriors is number 9 Freddy Lussick
Prop for Dolphins is number 10 Mark NichollsProp for Warriors is number 10 Mitchell Barnett
2nd Row for Dolphins is number 11 Felise Kaufusi2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Josh Curran
2nd Row for Dolphins is number 12 Connelly Lemuelu2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Marata Niukore
Lock for Dolphins is number 13 Kenneath BromwichLock for Warriors is number 13 Dylan Walker
Interchange for Dolphins is number 14 Jarrod WallaceInterchange for Warriors is number 16 Bayley Sironen
Interchange for Dolphins is number 15 Isaiya KatoaInterchange for Warriors is number 17 Tom Ale
Interchange for Dolphins is number 16 Max PlathInterchange for Warriors is number 18 Kalani Going
Interchange for Dolphins is number 17 Herman Ese'eseInterchange for Warriors is number 23 Paul Roache
Replacement for Dolphins is number 19 Mason TeagueReplacement for Warriors is number 20 Jacob Laban
- Referee: Gerard Sutton
- Touch Judge: Nick Morel
- Senior Review Official: Adam Gee
Back rower Going (26) has been in the extended squad numerous times throughout the season while also featuring in the 19-man game day squad including selection as 18th man for the home game against the Sydney Roosters on April 30.
Roache (24) was included on the extended squad for the first time this week and will now complete the seventh instance of brothers making NRL appearances for the One New Zealand Warriors. His older brother Nathaniel played 26 times for the club from 2016-2019.
Second rower Jacob Laban (19) could also make his debut on Saturday night. Like Roache he hasn’t previously figured in NRL team selections but has been confirmed as 18th man and could make it onto the field if the Warriors have cause to activate the use of their 18th player.
Omitted from the initial 22-man squad were Ford, Zyon Maiu’u and Ben Farr.
In Harris’ absence, Walker has come into loose forward and will also captain the side for the first time.
Replacing the injured Metcalf in his first NRL match since April 9 is Te Maire Martin, who impressed in his comeback for the club’s New South Wales Cup side in its 42-12 success against the Dragons last Saturday. In his 51 minutes on the field he produced two try assists, a line break, made 61 metres from 10 runs and added 11 tackles without a miss.
Edward Kosi, used on the wing in the first 10 matches of the season, replaces the prolific Watene-Zelezniak on the right wing, Taine Tuaupiki makes his fifth appearance of the year for Nicoll-Klokstad at fullback, Ronald Volkman is in at halfback for Johnson, Mitchell Barnett starts in the front row for Fonua-Blake and Lussick takes over from Egan at hooker.
Tom Ale makes his first-grade return after being used in the first 18 NRL matches of the season; he has been in the New South Wales team for its last five matches where he has averaged 155 metres and 24 tackles a game.
The changes mean Pompey and Montoya will be the only members of the squad to appear in all 24 matches of the regular season, Pompey with the distinction of being on the field for all 1842 minutes of the 23 games to date.
When the One New Zealand Warriors and the Dolphins met for the first time at Go Media Stadium on June 3, the Warriors won 30-8 to start a run which has seen them win 10 of their last 11 matches, Brisbane being the only other club with just one loss during that period (a 9-1 record); and since losing to Penrith in the Magic Round on May 6, they’ve triumphed in 11 of their last 13 games.
They go into today's contest with the chance of equalling the club record of eight wins on end and 17 victories in the regular season (both achieved in 2002); their tally of 16 wins this year is the outright second best in the club’s history.