Reece Walsh mystery deepens as Warriors name team for Tigers clash

Author
Michael Burgess, NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Tue, 18 May 2021, 7:44PM
Reece Walsh. (Photo / Photosport)
Reece Walsh. (Photo / Photosport)

Reece Walsh mystery deepens as Warriors name team for Tigers clash

Author
Michael Burgess, NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Tue, 18 May 2021, 7:44PM

Warriors coach Nathan Brown has stuck with the status quo in the spine for Friday's clash with the Tigers.

Despite growing calls for teenager Reece Walsh to have more of a role, the 18-year-old is listed on the interchange bench.

Walsh had a big impact in last week's 34-18 loss to the Eels, helping to spark a mini revival from 0-24 down after entering the fray in the 35th minute.

Brown stated after the match that Walsh would be used at fullback, rather than in another position in the spine, but any shuffle involving Roger Tuivasa-Sheck could remain a mid-game strategy.

The captain is retained at fullback, while Chanel Harris-Tavita and Kodi Nikorima pair up in the halves for the fifth time this season.

There may be further changes before kick-off however, as Brown has often made late tweaks this year.

Nikorima is an option at No 9, even though the Kiwis halfback prefers not to play there, especially as Wayde Egan has struggled in the last two games. That would allow Tuivasa-Sheck to remain at the back, and Walsh used in the halves.

In other team news, winger Rocco Berry (head) plus second rowers Josh Curran (elbow) and Bayley Sironen (knee) have all been ruled out this week.

Berry is undergoing HIA protocols after leaving the field just before halftime on Sunday while Curran faces between two to four weeks on the sideline after hyper-extending his right elbow.

Sironen has a meniscus issue in his left knee and it's not yet known when he will be fit to return.

In their place, wing Marcelo Montoya returns from injury while back rower Jack Murchie is in line for his fifth appearance of the season. Kane Evans is named at prop after being dropped for the Eels match, while Eliesa Katoa is the 18th man.

Warriors coach Nathan Brown ran through the squad changes with D'Arcy Waldegrave.

Warriors team to face the Tigers

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 Leeson Ah Mau
16 Bunty Afoa
17 Reece Walsh
18 Eliesa Katoa
20 Taniela Otukolo
21 Edward Kosi
22 Sean O'Sullivan