Via Warriors Media
With Parramatta loan players Daniel Alvaro and George Jennings returning to their club and front rower Jamayne Taunoa-Brown suspended, Vodafone Warriors interim head coach Todd Payten has been forced to make line-up changes for the 19th-round NRL clash against the Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium on Sunday (2.00pm kick-off local time; 4.00pm NZT).
Alvaro and Jennings made their sixth and final appearances of their loan stint in Sunday’s 14-22 loss to Cronulla, a result which ended any chance the Vodafone Warriors had of making the play-offs.
They were involved in the club’s last four victories along with two close losses to competition leader Penrith and the Sharks but they were prevented from playing against their parent club two weeks ago.
Rookie Taunoa-Brown has played in each of the Vodafone Warriors’ 18 first matches but he picked up a grade two dangerous contact charge for a tackle on Sharks second rower Siosifa Talakai which carried a one-match suspension for an early guilty plea.
His absence sees the experienced Lachlan Burr back as a starting prop with development player Tom Ale (21) to make his NRL debut after being named in jersey #17. He’s set to become Vodafone Warrior #250.
Moving onto the left wing for Jennings is Hayze Perham – used in the centres the last five games – with Adam Keighran making his long-awaited return in the centres where he played in his last and only appearance this season against Canberra in round two.
Named to fill the other vacancy on the interchange is outstanding rookie second rower Eliesa Katoa, poised to return after a two-game absence following minor surgery after breaking his left hand in the opening moments of the 36-6 win over Newcastle on August 29.
Tohu Harris has again been listed in #12 and Isaiah Papali’i in #10 but Harris will start in the middle with Papali’i on the left edge once more. Along with Harris and Jack Murchie, Papali’i played the full 80 minutes against the Sharks.
With Taunoa-Brown unavailable, Harris and interchange forward Adam Blair will remain the only players to have lined up in all 19 matches so far.