EGAN AND KATOA NAMED FOR SEASON OPENER

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The Warriors have been buoyed by the inclusion of injured pair Wayde Egan and Eliesa Katoa for their NRL Round 1 showdown with Gold Coast Titans in Gosford.

Hooker Egan (elbow) and second-rower Katoa (cheekbone) were expected to miss the early rounds but have recovered sufficiently to be named in the starting pack for Saturday’s showdown.

Katoa will start in the second-row with ex-Souths recruit Bayley Sironen – one of four new buys in the 17, alongside centre Euan Aitken, prop Addin Fonua-Blake and interchange forward Ben Murdoch-Masila, who take the total number of Warriors players since 1995 to 254.

Chanel Harris-Tavita and David Fusitu’a return in the backline after missing the drawn trial match against the Titans with injury a fortnight ago.

While there were few surprises in jerseys 1 through 7, the engine-room selections provide some talking points. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown has won the battle to start in the front-row with Fonua-Blake, while Leeson Ah Mau and Bunty Afoa – who both had their 2020 campaigns wrecked by injury – have received the nod as the bench props ahead of off-season purchase Kane Evans.

Tohu Harris will start at lock and Jazz Tevaga, who is likely to see time at dummy-half, dons the No.14 jumper.

But there’s no room in the 22 for Jack Murchie, who enjoyed a breakout 2020 and went well against the Titans in the trial, with Tom Ale and Josh Curran the forwards named in the reserves. Utility-back Adam Pompey and half Sean O’Sullivan are also in the extended squad.

WARRIORS v GOLD COAST TITANS
3.00pm, Saturday, March 9, 2021
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

WARRIORS

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)
2 DAVID FUSITU’A
3 EUAN AITKEN
4 PETA HIKU
5 KEN MAUMALO
6 KODI NIKORIMA
7 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA
8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE
9 WAYDE EGAN
10 JAMAYNE TAUNOA-BROWN
11 ELIESA KATOA
12 BAYLEY SIRONEN
13 TOHU HARRIS

Interchange:
14 JAZZ TEVAGA
15 BEN MURDOCH-MASILA
16 LEESON AH MAU
17 BUNTY AFOA
18 ADAM POMPEY
20 SEAN O’SULLIVAN
21 TOM ALE
22 JOSH CURRAN

HEAD COACH | NATHAN BROWN

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Categories: Team News + Stats, WARRIORS NEWS

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