New Zealand Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney has made numerous personnel and positional changes for the resumption of the club’s 2020 NRL campaign against St George Illawarra at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford on Saturday (3.00pm kick-off local time; 5.00pm NZT).
Seasoned Kiwi international Gerard Beale returns in the centres in his comeback from his patella injury while fellow outside backs Patrick Herbert and Peta Hiku also come back into the side after missing the second-round clash against Canberra in March on compassionate grounds.
There’s a fourth backline change for this third-round match with Kiwi playmaker Kodi Nikorima named to pair Blake Green in the halves.
With Leeson Ah Mau sidelined after pectoral surgery, rookie Jamayne Taunoa-Brown starts at prop alongside Lachlan Burr. In another change in the starting pack, 50-game second rower Isaiah Papali’i is named to partner Tohu Harris with rookie Eliesa Katoa listed on the bench.
WARRIORS…1: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2: Patrick Herbert, 3: Peta Hiku, 4: Gerard Beale, 5: Ken Maumalo, 6: Kodi Nikorima, 7: Blake Green, 8: Lachlan Burr, 9: Wayde Egan, 10: Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 11: Isaiah Papali’i, 12: Tohu Harris, 13: Adam Blair. Interchange: 14: Karl Lawton, 15: King Vuniyayawa, 16: Agnatius Passi, 17: Eliesa Katoa. Reserves: 18: Chanel Harris-Tavita, 20: Josh Curran, 21: Adam Pompey, 22 Jack Murchie.
(Photo: Blake Green. Credit: Lex Wright).