Via Warriors Media
Experienced winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak will make his comeback from a four-match injury lay-off when the Vodafone Warriors face the Sydney Roosters in a sixth-round NRL clash which will evoke memories of the grand final meeting between the two sides 20 years ago.
Watene-Zelezniak has been side-lined since breaking his left thumb in the opening minutes of the club’s opening round loss to St George Illawarra.
After having surgery, the Kiwi captain has been rushed straight back slightly ahead of schedule for the special heritage occasion when the Vodafone Warriors and Roosters collide at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday (2.00pm kick-off local time; 4.00pm NZT).
The Vodafone Warriors will wear the iconic jersey instantly associated with the club’s first grand final appearance in 2002 and readily identified with one of the most successful eras in its history.
Predominantly black with blue, red and white trimming, it’s this jersey which is connected with the Vodafone Warriors delivering a string of exceptional performances on their way to reaching the NRL finals for the first time in 2001 and then winning the minor premiership and playing a maiden home final en route to the grand final the following year.
While the Vodafone Warriors will wear a replica 2002 jersey, the Roosters will be kitted out in the white strip modelled on the one they wore in the title showdown.
Head coach Nathan Brown has named a top 17 which shows two changes from the side used in last Friday night’s dramatic 25-24 golden point victory over North Queensland. That sees Eliesa Katoa coming onto the bench replacing Jack Murchie.
And left winger Marcelo Montoya has been omitted ahead of facing a contrary conduct judicial hearing tonight with Edward Kosi replacing him.
For the third week running head coach Nathan Brown has been able to name the same spine of Reece Walsh, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Shaun Johnson and Wayde Egan while the pack is the same as one that started against the Cowboys last Friday night.