Sign up now!
   
RUGBY

Strong line-up named to face Penrith in Hamilton

Wednesday 13 February 2013, 3:17PM
By Hamilton City Council
578 views


HAMILTON

The Vodafone Warriors will be fielding most of their experienced players in the club’s second 2013 NRL trial against Penrith at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Saturday (4.00pm kick-off).

New signings Thomas Leuluai and Dane Nielsen both feature, Leuluai named in the halves after last playing for the club in 2004 and Queensland Origin representative Nielsen making his first appearance for the Vodafone Warriors.

NRL premiership winner Nielsen, who turned out for the Indigenous All Stars last Saturday night, teams up in the centres with Konrad Hurrell.

Head coach Matthew Elliott has given Elijah Taylor the chance to claim the starting hooker’s job in the absence of regular No 9 Nathan Friend, who will miss the start of the season after having further shoulder surgery this Thursday.

Also lining up will be 2013 NRL All Stars Shaun Johnson at halfback and Feleti Mateo at loose forward. Elliott has selected Hamilton-raised Sam Rapira and 2012 Lion Red Player of the Year Ben Matulino as his starting props. With Steve Rapira named on the bench, the Rapira brothers are set to team up for the Vodafone Warriors in their hometown for the first time.

“We always planned to run with our younger players against the Titans,” said Elliott.

“It was a really productive trial for us, giving us a good chance to have a look at our depth.

“As our only trial close to home, this match in Hamilton is a step up. We’re able to call on most of our senior players and we’re all looking forward to playing at Waikato Stadium in front of our members and fans. It’s great taking games to places around the country like Hamilton and we hope a huge crowd turns out for it.”

Apart from Friend, other seasoned players not considered were Jerome Ropati, who’s working his way back from knee surgery, Russell Packer (bicep) and the club’s other 2012 NRL grand final winner Todd Lowrie, who has returned home following the death of his grandfather.

Some of the Vodafone Warriors’ wider NRL squad will be playing for the Auckland Vulcans in a trial against a Pacific Island Selection at Cornwall Park on Saturday (11.00am kick-off).

The Vodafone Junior Warriors face a Waicoa Bay Selection in Saturday’s early game at Waikato Stadium (1.45pm kick-off).

 

BUY TICKETS FOR THE HAMILTON TRIAL AT WWW.TICKETEK.CO.NZ

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS v PENRITH PANTHERS

 

Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

4.00pm, Saturday, February 16

Referees: Henry Perenara and Chris James

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS

 

22  KEVIN LOCKE
2  BILL TUPOU
3  DANE NIELSEN
4  KONRAD HURRELL
25  MANU VATUVEI
6  THOMAS LEULUAI
7  SHAUN JOHNSON
8  SAM RAPIRA
14  ELIJAH TAYLOR
10  BEN MATULINO
16  BEN HENRY
12  SIMON MANNERING (c)
13  FELETI MATEO
 
Interchange:

1  DOMINIQUE PEYROUX

15  JACOB LILLYMAN

17  PITA GODINET

18 ALEHANA MARA

21  NGANI LAUMAPE

9  CARLOS TUIMAVAVE

20  SAM LOUSI

23  SEBASTINE IKAHIHIFO

26  JOHN PALAVI

27  GLEN FISIIAHI

11  SIO SIUA TAUKEIAHO

24  STEVE RAPIRA

5  CHARLIE GUBB

HEAD COACH: MATTHEW ELLIOTT