Via Warriors Media
Two injury-enforced changes and a switch in the halves are the features of the One New Zealand Warriors’ line-up named to take on the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs in Friday night’s 11th-round NRL encounter at Accor Stadium in Sydney (6.00pm kick-off local time; 8.00pm NZT).
With back rower Jackson Ford (concussion) and winger Edward Kosi (knee) ruled out, Josh Curran has been brought in to replace regular starter Ford while centre Rocco Berry has been called in for his first NRL appearance of the year with Marcelo Montoya moving onto the wing for Kosi.
One New Zealand Warriors head coach Andrew Webster has also made a key selection decision in the halves by naming Ronald Volkman in the #6 jersey, a move which results in utility Dylan Walker reverting to his preferred role coming off the interchange bench.
Walker was moved into the halves after first-choice standoff Te Maire Martin broke his fibula against Newcastle a month ago.
Earlier he and Jazz Tevaga had given the One New Zealand Warriors a potent double act from the bench, a partnership broken up by Walker’s shift to the halves and then the calf injury which has sidelined Tevaga for some time.
Webster said today that the team’s interests were best served by having Walker on the interchange to add impact in the middle of the park.
Walker partnered Shaun Johnson in the halves for four matches but makes way for the 20-year-old Volkman, who has been impressive for the club’s successful New South Wales side.
Volkman will make his fourth NRL appearance, his second this season after last being used in the dramatic 32-30 win over Cronulla Sutherland in round five.
Berry’s return to the NRL stage is the other significant feature of the line-up named.
The 21-year-old hasn’t played at first-grade level since his 15th appearance in the round 14 match against the Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 11 months ago.
After being sidelined with a thigh injury he made a strong comeback with two tries and 142 metres from 14 runs for the New South Wales Cup side last Saturday.
Also on the comeback trail is new signing Luke Metcalf.
After starring in the club’s Preseason Challenge against the Wests Tigers in February, the former Cronulla Sutherland half missed the first 10 rounds of the season with a hamstring injury but will make his return in the New South Wales Cup against the Bulldogs on Saturday.