Steve Price to play 300th NRL match - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Steve Price to play 300th NRL match

10/03/2009 07:40:49 PM Comments (0)

Steve Price will celebrate a major milestone when he leads the Warriors out for their season-opening NRL match against Parramatta Eels in Auckland on Saturday.

Price, who turns 35 on Thursday, will play his 300th game and will have four first-time Warriors, including an NRL debutant, beside him for the match.

He will play his 78th game for the club to add to the 222 with the Bulldogs from 1994-2004.

He will become only the 11th player to appear in 300 games since the competition began in 1908.

Named to make his debut from the interchange bench is prop Leeson Ah Mau, 19, a regular with the Junior Warriors in their under 20s campaign last year.

Making their first NRL appearances for the Warriors will be ex-Brisbane winger Denan Kemp, his Broncos teammate Joel Moon at five-eighth and former Queensland Origin back rower Jacob Lillyman (North Queensland), who has been named on the bench.

Coach Ivan Cleary said the team to take on Parramatta was selected with just that game in mind.

"This is very much a team for the first round, it's not an indication of our plans for the whole season," he said.

"We're approaching this year with a squad mentality. We have 34 players competing for spots and these are the 17 we've picked for this week.

"It's exciting that one of them is Leeson. He's another graduate from our NYC side and it's great for him that he now has a chance at NRL level."

The trial performances in which the Warriors notched three wins had been encouraging.

"We were pleased with how the trials worked out but that doesn't count for very much in all honesty.

"Now we face the Eels and they've also won their three trials.

"They also have a new coach in Daniel Anderson, who's coming home in a way I guess after his time coaching here. He has obviously made a lot of changes since he took over.

"It'll be a huge challenge for us and we know we'll have to be right on our game from the outset to be in contention."

Not considered for the opening round were Stacey Jones (calf), Evarn Tuimavave (neck), Mataupu Poching (ankle) and Liam Foran (elbow).

The Warriors will wear black armbands for the match in memory of missing teammate Sonny Fai.

Fai, 20, disappeared on January 4 after rescuing his brother and four cousins from the sea at Bethells Beach, West Auckland.

Extensive searches of the area failed to find him and he is presumed drowned.

Both teams will come onto the field early to observe a minute's silence on Saturday.

The Warriors will also wear jerseys bearing embroidery of Fai's signature as well as his official club number, 138, sitting above the team logo.

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