Michael Burgess is a sports writer for the Herald on Sunday.

NRL: Big names return for Stacey Jones' Warriors team

James Gavet is one of twelve players with NRL experience selected in Stacey Jones' reserve grade Warriors side. Photo / www.Photosport.nz
James Gavet is one of twelve players with NRL experience selected in Stacey Jones' reserve grade Warriors side. Photo / www.Photosport.nz

Warriors reserve grade coach Stacey Jones has named a strong lineup for Sunday's ISP week two finals clash against the Newtown Jets.

Though the Warriors NRL season has ended ignominiously again, the progress of Jones' team has provided a glimmer of light at the club.

They qualified fifth in the regular season and knocked over eighth ranked Penrith 21-14 last Sunday in the first week of the finals.

Jones has been able to call upon 12 players with NRL experience for Sunday's clash, including Ken Maumalo, Nathaniel Roache, James Gavet, Jazz Tevaga and Ata Hingano.

Earlier in the season Maumalo scored nine tries in 10 ISP appearances before being promoted to the NRL side for 10 outings. In all he has 21 tries in 25 ISP games.

Roache has split his season between the club's NRL, ISP and NYC teams while Tevaga has alternated between NRL and ISP duty.

Jones has shuffled his backline resources with Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, the only player to appear in every one of the team's games this year, named to start at fullback after originally being selected in the centres last week.

Matt Allwood comes into the centres alongside veteran former Newcastle and Wigan centre George Carmont. Maumalo and Henare Wells are on the wings.

The starting pack named comprises players who have all had NRL experience this year, ranging from 2016 rookie Toaf Sipley to Gavet, the most experienced forward in the team with 25 NRL appearances.

In two regular season matches against Newtown - Cronulla's feeder club - the Vodafone Warriors have a win and a loss. They won 20-18 at Mount Smart Stadium in March but were trounced 38-6 at Henson Park in June.

WARRIORS v NEWTOWN JETS
Pepper Stadium, Penrith
6.35pm, Sunday, September 11

WARRIORS

1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
2. Henare Wells
3. George Carmont
4. Matt Allwood
5. Ken Maumalo
6. Ata Hingano
7. Mason Lino (C)
8. James Gavet
9. Nathaniel Roache
10. Toafofoa Sipley
11. John Palavi
12. Shaun Lane
13. Jazz Tevaga
Interchange
14. James Bell
15. Upu Poching
16. Patrick Sipley
17. Viliami Kaveinga
18. Erin Clark
19. Marata Niukore

- NZ Herald

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