Warriors name strong squad for trial - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors name strong squad for trial

25/02/2009 12:28:43 PM Comments (0)

Sam Rapira, Micheal Luck and Ben Matulino all return to the fray for the New Zealand Warriors' third and final NRL trial against Gold Coast in Lismore, NSW on Saturday night.

The trio have been named in a 21-man squad to fly out on Friday for a match that coach Ivan Cleary says of significance.

Prop Rapira and loose forward Luck were rested for the 32-28 trial win over North Queensland in Auckland on Sunday while Matulino is returning after being excused to attend his sister's wedding.

Cleary will have the composition of his 17-man squad for the season-opening NRL match against Parramatta in Auckland on March 14 in mind this weekend.

"We haven't yet settled on the combination we'll start with against the Titans but this trial will still sort out a few things for us in terms of the way we'll approach the match against the Eels," he said.

"There are plenty of areas we need to improve on despite the wins we've had against Melbourne and the Cowboys.

"Our goal line defence certainly wasn't where we wanted it to be last Sunday.

"While I have a fair idea in my mind about the team we'll run with on March 14 there are still some calls to be made."

Former North Queensland second rower Jacob Lillyman is in the party as he continues to make good progress from his off-season shoulder surgery.

The only established NRL player not travelling to Lismore will be prop Evarn Tuimavave who is still being troubled by a neck injury while young prop Mataupu Poching was unavailable because of an ankle injury.

Also not in the travelling group are just-signed former Newcastle prop Jesse Royal, Patrick Ah Van, Lewis Brown, Liam Foran, Epalahame Lauaki, Daniel O'Regan, Herman Retzlaff, Malo Solomona and Michael Witt.

They will play for a Warriors selection against the Auckland Vulcans in Auckland on Saturday.

Squad:

Wade McKinnon, Denan Kemp, Manu Vatuvei, Aidan Kirk, Jerome Ropati, Brent Tate, Aaron Heremaia, Joel Moon, Nathan Fien, Stacey Jones, Leeson Ah Mau, Russell Packer, Steve Price (capt), Sam Rapira, Ian Henderson, Lance Hohaia, Jacob Lillyman, Simon Mannering, Ben Matulino, Ukuma Ta'ai, Micheal Luck.

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