Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will lead the strongest available side in the Vodafone Warriors' final NRL trial against Wests Tigers at the Rotorua International Stadium on Sunday.
After fielding a host of emerging players in last Saturday's 16-18 loss to Melbourne in Palmerston North, head coach Stephen Kearney has named a vastly experienced squad.
Maori Kiwis co-captain Adam Blair and standoff Kodi Nikorima both come into the side after helping their side to a famous 30-16 win over the Australian Indigenous team in Saturday night's intense All-Stars contest.
Blair is selected to start in the second row while Nikorima lines up in the halves alongside veteran Blake Green.
Front rower Josh Curran and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown will back up from the bench after playing for the Australian Indigenous side in Robina.
In other features Kiwi second rower Tohu Harris starts after recovering from a foot injury which has side-lined him since June last year, David Fusitu'a is again named in the centres – he was used in the role in Palmerston North – with Patrick Herbert on the right wing and new signing Wayde Egan starting at hooker.
As well as Tuivasa-Sheck, Blair, Harris, Nikorima and Green, other first-choice players having their first and only trial ahead of the 2020 campaign will be front rowers Agnatius Paasi and Leeson Ah Mau, Isaiah Papali'i – named at loose forward – and Kiwi winger Ken Maumalo.
Included on a 12-man bench are halfback Chanel Harris-Tavita and middle forward Lachlan Burr – both used in Pamerston North – and centre Peta Hiku, who returns from off season surgery. Also on the interchange is hooker Karl Lawton after returning from surgery last weekend.
The match will be a special occasion for 2019 NRL rookie and Rotorua Boys' High School product Hayze Perham who is starting in the centres.
Sunday's trial is the fifth the Vodafone Warriors have played in Rotorua. Their first was against the Sydney Roosters in 2010 when they won 26-8 while the other three also provided wins over Parramatta (24-4) in 2011, Penrith (18-4) in 2015 and the Storm (20-14) in 2018.
VODAFONE WARRIORS v WESTS TIGERS:
2.00pm, Sunday, March 1, 2020
International Stadium, Rotorua
General Admission Adult: $20.00
General Admission Child: $7.50
General Admission Family of 5: $50.00
General Admission Corporate Lounge: $75.00
Tickets are available from Ticketmaster NZ.
1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)
2 PATRICK HERBERT
3 HAYZE PERHAM
4 DAVID FUSITU'A
5 KEN MAUMALO
6 KODI NIKORIMA
7 BLAKE GREEN
8 LEESON AH MAU
9 WAYDE EGAN
10 AGNATIUS PAASI
11 ADAM BLAIR
12 TOHU HARRIS
13 ISAIAH PAPALI'I
14 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA
15 JAMAYNE TAUNOA-BROWN
16 ADAM TUIMAVAVE-GERRARD
17 KARL LAWTON
18 PAUL TURNER
20 TAANE MILNE
21 JOSH CURRAN
24 PETA HIKU
25 LACHLAN BURR
26 ELIESA KATOA
27 EDWARD KOSI
28 LEIVAHA PULU