NEW DAWN? CHT HANDED THE KEYS, TWO TO DEBUT IN ROUND 1

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Warriors fans’ pleas for Stephen Kearney to pick on form, take a few risks and blood some young talent have apparently been answered with several surprise selections from the usually conservative coach ahead of Saturday’s Round 1 assignment in Newcastle.

Chanel Harris-Tavita has ousted experienced Kiwi international Kodi Nikorima for the contentious five-eighth role. The 20-year-old was named alongside Blake Green in the halves and the versatile Nikorima chosen on the bench.

Meanwhile, the interchange is set to include a pair of NRL debutants: Māori All Stars prop Jamayne Taunoa-Brown and 20-year-old back-rower Eliesa Katoa, a standout in the trials. Agnatius Paasi (ankle) and Josh Curran (calf) were unavailable due to injury, paving the way for the tyros’ inclusion.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has been listed at fullback despite battling a foot problem; Hayze Perham and Taane Milne are included in the 21-man squad and will both come into contention if the captain is ruled out.

Wayde Egan will play his maiden first-grade game for the Warriors as the starting hooker, with utility Karl Lawton in the interchange contingent – a curious selection with Nikorima also on the pine.

In other selection talking points, David Fusitu’a’s shift to right centre has been confirmed. Patrick Herbert will play on the wing outside him. Lachlan Burr moves up to prop with Isaiah Papali’i named at lock and Adam Blair in the second-row, despite his superb showing up front for the Māori All Stars.

*Tune in to This Warriors Life‘s podcast (recording Tuesday night) to catch Will and Brad’s reaction to the new-look line-up. 

WARRIORS v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

5.00pm (NZT), Sat 14th Mar @ McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

 

WARRIORS

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)

2 PATRICK HERBERT

3 DAVID FUSITU’A

4 PETA HIKU

5 KEN MAUMALO

6 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA

7 BLAKE GREEN

8 LEESON AH MAU

9 WAYDE EGAN

10 LACHLAN BURR

11 ADAM BLAIR

12 TOHU HARRIS

13 ISAIAH PAPALI’I

Interchange:

14 KODI NIKORIMA

15 JAMAYNE TAUNOA-BROWN

16 ELIESA KATOA

17 KARL LAWTON

18 KING VUNIYAYAWA

20 HAYZE PERHAM

21 LEIVAHA PULU

22 TAANE MILNE

HEAD COACH | STEPHEN KEARNEY

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Categories: Team News + Stats, WARRIORS NEWS

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