Backline changes for Warriors’ clash with Canberra

Published 3:24pm 19 July 2022

Backline changes for Warriors’ clash with Canberra
Words by Kylie Knight

The Warriors have made three changes to their backline ahead of their clash against the Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium on Saturday (3pm kick-off AEST) .

Chanel Harris-Tavita starts at fullback, Reece Walsh moves to the bench and Daejarn Asi returns at standoff for the round 19 game.

Also back in the side is right winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak after missing last Friday night’s loss to the Parramatta Eels following a positive COVID-19 test.

Harris-Tavita, 23, delivered a player of the day performance when he was called up to start at fullback after Walsh was ruled out of the homecoming match against the Wests Tigers at Mount Smart Stadium on July 3 due to COVID-19.

When Walsh returned last week, interim head coach Stacey Jones switched Harris-Tavita to standoff after Volkman wasn’t considered due to illness.

Asi, 21, has been recalled for his fifth NRL appearance since joining the club from the North Queensland Cowboys.

Last used against St George Illawarra Dragons in round 11, he has been a key contributor for feeder club Redcliffe in the Hostplus Cup during the past six weeks.

Last week, he scored a try and had three try assists, a line break and a line break assist in the Dolphins’ 54-16 win over reigning premiers Norths Devils.

Watene-Zelezniak, the club’s top try scorer with seven touchdowns in 11 appearances, slots back onto the right wing for Edward Kosi.

Forward pack unchanged

While Jones has made selection calls in the backline, the starting forward pack is unchanged from the one originally selected to face the Eels.

Captain Tohu Harris will again wear the #10 jersey following his player of the day display in the loss to Parramatta.

In 70 minutes on the field, he made 170ms from 17 runs with a line break, a line break assist and a try assist along with a game-high 44 tackles.

Walsh joins front rowers Bunty Afoa and Aaron Pene plus back rower Jack Murchie on the interchange while hooker Freddy Lussick moves to the extended bench.

The Vodafone Warriors face a Canberra side buoyed by a 20-16 win over Melbourne which has it sitting just outside the top eight.

When the two teams last met in round eight on April 30, Shaun Johnson snapped a golden point field goal to give the Vodafone Warriors their second extra-time win of the season.

They have won five of the last nine encounters between the two sides, three of them at GIO Stadium.

Team list

VODAFONE WARRIORS

1 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA

2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK

3 JESSE ARTHARS

4 ADAM POMPEY

5 MARCELO MONTOYA

6 DAEJARN ASI

7 SHAUN JOHNSON

8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE

9 WAYDE EGAN

10 TOHU HARRIS (c)

11 EUAN AITKEN

12 JOSH CURRAN

13 JAZZ TEVAGA

Extended bench:

14 REECE WALSH

15 BUNTY AFOA

16 AARON PENE

17 JACK MURCHIE

18 ELIESA KATOA

20 EDWARD KOSI

21 RONALD VOLKMAN

22 FREDDY LUSSICK

23 JACKSON FREI

Head coach | STACEY JONES

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