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Warriors outfit to face Cronulla
Vodafone Warriors utility Patrick Ah Van will make his first NRL appearance of the year at fullback against Cronulla at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday night.
The 19-year-old was today brought into the side to replace suspended first-choice fullback Wade McKinnon.
McKinnon will miss the Vodafone Warriors' next two matches after entering an early guilty plea on a grade three contrary conduct charge arising from Sunday's dramatic 18-16 win against South Sydney. The offence related to McKinnon coming into contact with referee Jason Robinson.
After making a delayed start to the season following off-season shoulder surgery, Ah Van has played three games at fullback for the Vodafone Auckland Lions in the New South Wales Premier League.
He also played fullback twice in his 15 appearances for the Vodafone Warriors in his rookie season in 2006.
It's the only change to the side that came back from 8-16 down to beat Souths with two tries in the last three minutes of Sunday's clash, McKinnon igniting the comeback with his 60-metre try from a Steve Price off load.
The Vodafone Warriors will face a Cronulla side which was beaten 20-16 by the Newcastle Knights last night. Several Sharks players will also be involved in the annual City Origin-Country Origin match in Coffs Harbour on Thursday night as well as making the trip to Auckland.
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS v CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland 7.30pm, Saturday, May 5, 2007
1 Patrick Ah Van 2 Todd Byrne 3 Tony Martin 4 Simon Mannering 5 Manu Vatuvei 6 Michael Witt 7 Grant Rovelli 8 Sam Rapira 9 Nathan Fien 10 Steve Price (c) 11 Ruben Wiki (vc) 12 Logan Swann 13 Micheal Luck
Interchange: 14 George Gatis 15 Evarn Tuimavave 16 Epalahame Lauaki 17 Corey Lawrie