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Newcomers in Warriors first trial
match against Parramatta
NZ Bartercard Cup players Toshio Laiseni and Rowan Baxter have earned call-ups for the Vodafone Warriors? first 2005 NRL trial against Parramatta on Sunday.
They?re the only players without first grade experience included in the 20 players travelling to New Plymouth for the Yarrow Stadium encounter.
?Tosh and Rowan have earned a run in this trial on the basis of the work they?ve done in our off-season and pre-season training programmes,? said head coach Tony Kemp.
?We?ve been impressed with the effort they?ve made and the improvements they?ve shown.?
The 19-year-old Laiseni (Otahuhu Ellerslie) is making his comeback after his 2004 season was ruined by injury. He started in last year?s first trial against St George Illawarra in Hamilton but needed surgery after injuring his shoulder in that match.
Kemp has named him at fullback while 27-year-old former Bay of Plenty rugby union winger Rowan Baxter is on one of the flanks. He was in Mt Albert?s Bartercard Cup-winning side last year and also represented New Zealand A.
Named on the other wing is one of the Vodafone Warriors? four new signings Todd Byrne, who joined the club after 61 NRL appearances for the Sydney Roosters. Another new arrival Kiwi captain Ruben Wiki is included for this match but fellow newcomers, captain Steve Price and Nathan Fien, will be missing.
?Steve and Nathan weren?t considered because they both have minor niggles. This is a trial and we won?t be risking any players,? said Kemp.
?But of the 20 players named, all will have a run at some stage during the match.?
Centre Vinnie Anderson was another not considered due to a viral infection while hooker Tevita Latu and back-row forward Sione Faumuina aren?t ready to play yet after shoulder operations last year.
Meanwhile, a 21-man Parramatta squad was also released today. Included in the line-up are many players with NRL experience, most notably captain and Kiwi prop Nathan Cayless plus new signing Paul Stringer from South Sydney. Marcus Perenara, who moved to the Eels from the Warriors, is at standoff while Peter Lewis, who played 11 times for the Warriors in 1999, is in the front row after moving to the Eels from Penrith.
Not named to travel is ex-Vodafone Warriors hooker P J Marsh who played his first game since 2003 in the Eels? trial against Cronulla last Saturday night. He was used at halfback in the 18-24 loss.
Sunday?s match at Yarrow Stadium will be played in four 20-minute quarters kicking off at 4.00pm. The Vodafone Warriors arrive in New Plymouth on Saturday morning.
Experienced NRL referee Steve Clark will control the match.
The teams are:
VODAFONE WARRIORS: Toshio Laiseni, Rowan Baxter, Tony Martin, Francis Meli, Todd Byrne, Jerome Ropati, Lance Hohaia, Evarn Tuimavave, Louis Anderson, Richard Villasanti, Epalahame Lauaki, Awen Guttenbeil, Wairangi Koopu. Reserves: Iafeta Paleaaesina, Karl Temata, Brent Webb, Clinton Toopi, Monty Betham, Stacey Jones, Ruben Wiki.
PARRAMATTA: Joel Reddy, Ashley Graham, Ben Smith, Luke O?Dwyer, John Williams, Marcus Perenara, Tim Smith, Peter Lewis, Ian Henderson, Paul Stringer, Nathan Cayless (captain), Josh Cordoba, Chris Muckert. Reserves: Brad Wallace, Jack Afamasaga, Blake Green, Justin Tsoulos, Weller Hauraki, Brett Delaney, Aaron Cannings, Brett Anderson.