SPINE SHAKE-UP AS WALSH RETURNS, TEVAGA & O’SULLIVAN RECALLED

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Via Warriors Media

Sean O’Sullivan, Jazz Tevaga and Reece Walsh all come into the spine for the Vodafone Warriors’ 15th-round NRL encounter with the Newcastle Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday (3.00pm kick-off local time; 5.00pm NZT).

The 22-year-old O’Sullivan made four consecutive appearances replacing injured Chanel Harris-Tavita at halfback earlier in the season and now he reprises the role after HarrisTavita was forced off the field with a pectoral complaint in Sunday’s loss to Melbourne. O’Sullivan, set to play his 14th NRL game, last appeared in the 20-14 round six win over St George Illawarra while he was 18th man against North Queensland in the eighth round but
wasn’t used.

With regular hooker Wayde Egan ruled out following a head knock in Sunday’s defeat by the Storm, the recently re-signed Tevaga returns to the side at dummy half after being omitted for the Melbourne match.

And 18-year-old Walsh is back in the #1 jersey after serving a one-game suspension on a striking charge he landed after the 28-29 loss to North Queensland; that sees captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck again moving to the wing.

Also returning is 20-year-old centre Rocco Berry – a late defection with a hamstring twinge for the Storm game – as well as second rower Eliesa Katoa, who has been included on the bench.

Aside from Tevaga’s forced selection at hooker, the other key change in the starting pack sees prop Addin Fonua-Blake named to start after playing a total of 50 minutes in his two stints against Melbourne. He finished with 81 metres from nine runs and made 20 tackles.

He’ll team up with fellow new signing Ben Murdoch-Masila to form a big starting front row while head coach Nathan Brown has retained the same back row of Tohu Harris and Bayley Sironen in the second row with re-signed Josh Curran at loose forward. Leeson Ah Mau moves out of the front row to join the interchange.
WARRIORS v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
3.00pm, Saturday, June 19, 2021
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

WARRIORS
1 REECE WALSH
2 MARCELO MONTOYA
3 ROCCO BERRY
4 EUAN AITKEN
5 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)
6 KODI NIKORIMA
7 SEAN O’SULLIVAN
8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE
9 JAZZ TEVAGA
10 BEN MURDOCH-MASILA
11 BAYLEY SIRONEN
12 TOHU HARRIS
13 JOSH CURRAN
Interchange:
14 ELIESA KATOA
15 LEESON AH MAU
16 BUNTY AFOA
17 KANE EVANS

18 EDWARD KOSI
20 JACK MURCHIE
21 ADAM POMPEY
23 TANIELA OTUKOLO

HEAD COACH | NATHAN BROWN

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