You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

A full house will greet the One New Zealand Warriors when they run onto the field just before 8.00pm tonight to launch the club's 30th season against Cronulla Sutherland at Go Media Stadium. 

Not since the debut night against the Broncos on March 10, 1995, has the ground been packed to the gunnels for a round one match but tonight there's a major difference.

In 1995 the atmosphere was thick with unbridled excitement and anticipation seeing history unfold.

Tonight that's still the case but with a key ingredient added - expectation.

Andrew Webster's side are the hottest sporting ticket in town right now following last year's run to the preliminary finals. 

The battle against the Sharks brings together foes who have faced each other 48 times before across each of the Warriors' previous 29 campaigns.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Taine Tuaupiki
    Fullback for Sharks is number 1 William Kennedy
  • Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
    Winger for Sharks is number 2 Sione Katoa
  • Centre for Warriors is number 3 Rocco Berry
    Centre for Sharks is number 3 Jesse Ramien
  • Centre for Warriors is number 4 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
    Centre for Sharks is number 4 Siosifa Talakai
  • Winger for Warriors is number 5 Marcelo Montoya
    Winger for Sharks is number 5 Ronaldo Mulitalo
  • Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Luke Metcalf
    Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Braydon Trindall
  • Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson
    Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Nicholas Hynes


  • Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
    Prop for Sharks is number 8 Oregon Kaufusi
  • Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
    Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke Brailey
  • Prop for Warriors is number 10 Mitchell Barnett
    Prop for Sharks is number 10 Royce Hunt
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Jackson Ford
    2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Kurt Capewell
    2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Teig Wilton
  • Lock for Warriors is number 13 Tohu Harris
    Lock for Sharks is number 13 Cameron McInnes


  • Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Freddy Lussick
    Interchange for Sharks is number 14 Dale Finucane
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Tom Ale
    Interchange for Sharks is number 15 Jack Williams
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Bunty Afoa
    Interchange for Sharks is number 16 Toby Rudolf
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Dylan Walker
    Interchange for Sharks is number 17 Thomas Hazelton


  • Replacement for Warriors is number 18 Adam Pompey
    Replacement for Sharks is number 18 Kayal Iro

Match Officials

  • Referee: Peter Gough
  • Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
  • Senior Review Official: Matt Noyen

Last updated:

This one provides several crossover links in the home side's squad.

New signing Kurt Capewell played for the Sharks from 2016-2019 while Shaun Johnson, about to begin his 14th season in the competition, was a Sharks teammate of Capewell's in 2019 before also spending the 2020 and 2021 campaigns with the Sharks.

Standoff Luke Metcalf made seven NRL appearances for Cronulla in 2021 and 2022 and front rower Addin Fonua-Blake lines up against the club he'll join next year.

Both teams had a win and a loss in the Pre-Season Challenge and their most recent hit-outs left plenty of room for improvement, with the Warriors guilty of some big defensive lapses in a 34-22 win over the Dolphins and the Sharks' attack struggling to fire without the injured Nicho Hynes in a 12-6 win against the Bulldogs.

The Warriors won both clashes against Cronulla last year, including a dramatic comeback victory in round five which was recently voted New Zealand's sporting moment of the year. 

Last season's loss in Auckland was the first time in four games that the Sharks left Go Media Stadium without the two competition points and all up they've won in nine of 20 trips there.  

Team news  

One New Zealand Warriors: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (hamstring) won't be risked so Taine Tuaupiki lines up at fullback for his sixth NRL appearance. Luke Metcalf gets the nod at standoff with Te Maire Martin in the reserves. Marata Niukore is sidelined with a minor foot fracture he suffered in the Pre-Season Challenge match against the Dolphins. No changes in the 24-hour update with Adam Pompey and Te Maire Martin remaining in the 19-man squad.

Sharks: Nicho Hynes (quad) is right to go along with Dale Finucane (calf). Prop Braden Hamlin-Uele (knee) is at least another week away so Oregon Kaufusi comes into the starting side. Bench forward Jack Williams plays his 100th NRL game. No changes in Thursday's 24-hour update with Kayal Iro and Tuku Hau Tapuha the two reserves.

Stat attack

  • The Warriors have won their past five games at Go Media Stadium.
  • The Sharks have lost their opening round game in nine of the past 10 seasons.
  • Warriors winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak has scored 24 tries in his past 19 NRL games.
  • Sharks forward Jack Williams will make his 100th NRL appearance in the match.
  • The Warriors scored 76 points in home and away wins against the Sharks in 2023.

Stats supplied by David Middleton, League Information Services, author of the official annual of the NRL.

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

Principal Partner

Major Partners

Official Sponsors

View All Partners