TOWNSEND AND AFOA INJURED, CHT AND JAZZ RETURN FOR DEAD-RUBBER

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Injuries have forced head coach Nathan Brown to make more changes for the Vodafone Warriors’ season-ending 25th-round NRL match against the Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium in Robina on Sunday (2.00pm kick-off local time; 4.00pm NZT).

Veteran Chad Townsend’s troublesome right shoulder injury has ruled him out of making a farewell appearance to end his second stint with the club meaning twin left footers Sean O’Sullivan and Chanel Harris-Tavita will line up in the halves this week.

On top of that the Vodafone Warriors will be without interchange prop Bunty Afoa after he picked up a hamstring injury at training today.

The enforced halves change caps a challenging first year for Brown with injury enabling him to start with the same playmaking combination for three games or more on end just twice this season.

After losing Harris-Tavita with a serious foot injury in the second-round match against the Newcastle Knights, O’Sullivan and Kodi Nikorima were the starting halves for the next four games against Canberra, the Sydney Roosters, Manly Warringah and St George Illawarra.

When Harris-Tavita returned from his foot injury, he and Nikorima were restored in the halves for four straight games against Parramatta, Wests Tigers, North Queensland and Melbourne before Harris-Tavita was again out of action with a pectoral injury.

At other times the starting halves named on game day have been Nikorima and Bayley Sironen, Nikorima and Walsh, Townsend and O’Sullivan, Townsend and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Townsend and Nikorima, O’Sullivan and Peta Hiku and O’Sullivan and Harris-Tavita.

Townsend leaves with a total of 46 games for the Vodafone Warriors with this term limited to just five matches.

Another player farewelling the club is experienced centre Peta Hiku, who will be making his 73rd appearance on Sunday.

Midseason signing Matt Lodge has been named pending the outcome of tonight’s judicial hearing when he challenges a grade one dangerous contact charge he’s facing from last Friday night’s match against Canberra.

WARRIORS v GOLD COAST TITANS

4.00pm (NZT), Sunday, September 5, 2021

Cbus Super Stadium, Robina

WARRIORS

1 REECE WALSH

2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK

3 PETA HIKU

4 ROCCO BERRY

5 MARCELO MONTOYA

6 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA

7 SEAN O’SULLIVAN

8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE (c)

9 WAYDE EGAN

10 MATT LODGE

11 JOSH CURRAN

12 EUAN AITKEN

13 BAYLEY SIRONEN

Interchange:

14 KODI NIKORIMA

15 ELIESA KATOA

16 KANE EVANS

17 JAZZ TEVAGA

18 JAMAYNE TAUNOA-BROWN

20 ADAM POMPEY

21 JACK MURCHIE

22 EDWARD KOSI

HEAD COACH | NATHAN BROWN

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