The Vodafone Warriors will play 2010 NRL trials at Rotorua International Stadium and North Harbour Stadium early next year. The first is against the Sydney Roosters in Rotorua on Saturday, February 13 and the second two weeks later against 2008 NRL premiers the Manly Sea Eagles on Saturday, February 27. Vodafone Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah said it was exciting to have two trials at home again next year and to be able to take the club's NRL and NYC teams to another regional centre. "The Rotorua trial will be a special occasion because it's the first time we've ever played a full-on trial there," he said. The visit by the Vodafone Warriors and the Roosters will give Rotorua its second taste of top-level rugby league in a matter of months following the Kiwis' one-off Test against Tonga at the Rotorua International Stadium on October 14. That game was an outsanding success in front of a big and very enthusiastic crowd. "I am confident the Vodafone Warriors game will build on the Test experience and further encourage the development of rugby league in Rotorua and surrounding districts," said Peter McLeod, Events and Venues, Rotorua, general manager. The North Harbour game continues a long association between the Vodafone Warriors and the North Shore venue, 2010 will be the ninth consecutive year the club has played a trial there. The Vodafone Warriors' NRL players returned to training on November 2 to start preparing for the 2010 season. Head coach Ivan Cleary said the offseason programme provides players with an early chance to stake their claim for a regular NRL spot. "There is a determination in our squad to knuckle down and work hard on the back of last season. Every player starts with an equal opportunity to make first grade and our trials will give players a chance to show coaching staff what they've got," he said. "The Roosters and Manly give us exactly the type of tough opposition we need at that time of year and, like every other club, preseason trials from an integral part or preparing for the season. There is still a lot at stake." The Vodafone Warriors play a third trial against North Queensland in Cairns on Saturday, February 20 giving the club an intense programme of preseason games on successive weekends.
VODAFONE WARRIORS 2010 PRESEASON PROGRAMME
Sat 20th Feb v North Qld Cowboys Barlow Park, Cairns, North Qld
Sun 27th Feb v Manly Sea Eagles North Harbour Stadium, Albany 5pm
Tickets for the Rotorua game go on sale at Ticketmaster on November 20 from all Ticketmaster outlets NZ wide.