Despite injuries, form and an outcry from fans, Warriors coach Nathan Brown has once again opted to use teen sensation Reece Walsh as an impact player after naming him on the bench again Friday’s clash with the Tigers.
Walsh’s impressive performances since making his debut little over a month ago have led to growing calls for the 18-year-old to have a larger role in the team.
That belief intensified last week after Walsh helped spark a mini-revival in the Warriors’ 34-18 loss to the Eels after he entered the game, with the team losing 24-0 in the 35 th minute.
That performance led Brown to confirm earlier this week Walsh would be used at fullback rather than other spots in the spine, with captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck moving around to accommodate Walsh.
But with the team named tonight, it’s Tuivasa-Sheck still in the No.1 jersey and Walsh on the bench.
In fact, the entire spine remains the same with Chanel Harris-Tavita and Kodi Nikorima once again pairing up in the halves.
Injuries have forced Brown to make changes elsewhere, though, with wing Rocco Berry (head) as well as second rowers Josh Curran (elbow) and Bayley Sironen (knee) ruled out this week with injuries.
In their place, wing Marcelo Montoya returns from injury to take over the No.2 jersey while back rower Jack Murchie is in line for his fifth NRL appearance this year.
Kane Evans has been named at prop after being dropped for the Eels match, while Eliesa Katoa is the 18th man.
Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c),2. Marcelo Montoya, 3. Adam Pompey, 4. Euan Aitken, 5. Ken Maumalo, 6. Kodi Nikorima, 7. Chanel Harris-Tavita, 8. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 9. Wayde Egan, 10. Kane Evans, 11. Jack Murchie, 12. Ben Murdoch. Masila, 13. Tohu Harris
Interchange: 14. Jazz Tevaga, 15. Lesson Ah Mau, 16. Bunty Afoa, 17. Reece Walsh, 18. Eliesa Katoa, 20. Taniela Otukolo, 21. Edward Kosi. 22. Sean O'Sullivan