The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
3 days ago - 2 Likes
The NZ Warriors have named a near full-strength side for their trip to the Gold Coast, where they will take on Parramatta on Saturday night.
Youngster Thomas Leuluai, one of the finds of last season, will play half in the absence of Stacey Jones.
Coach Daniel Anderson has handed former Melbourne centre Tony Martin his first start for the club while another promising youngster, Tavita Latu, takes the place of the injured PJ Marsh at hooker.
Marsh's return from a neck injury has been postponed for at least three months after tests revealed it wasn't healing as expected.
Captain Monty Betham, who has been rested from this weekend's trial, is expected to start the season in the No.9 jersey.
"We're all pretty confident that in three months' time, we'll get the all-clear and he can start playing for the Warriors," Anderson said of Marsh.
"At this stage, Monty will start the season as hooker with support from Tevita Latu.
"We saw a fair bit of these two boys at the back half of last year."
Anderson has also rested five-eighth Lance Hohaia and forwards Awen Guttebeil and Mark Tookey, who played in the club's opening trial against St George Illawarra.
Brent Webb Henry Fa'afili Tony Martin, Clinton Toopi Francis Meli Jerome Ropati Thomas Leuluai Jerry SeuSeu Tavita Latu Iafeta Palea'aesina Ali Lauiti'iti, Karl Temata Wairangi Koopu