Rising star joins Warriors for rest of 2022 season; squad named for Raiders game

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

Coming off their worst defeat in the club's history on Anzac Day, the Warriors must now look ahead to their next challenge in the form of the Canberra Raiders.

Winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (concussion) and back-rower Josh Curran (knee) join the club’s casualty ward this week after sustaining injuries in the Anzac Day 70-10 defeat to the Melbourne Storm. Prop Aaron Pene is suspended for one week following a grade-two high tackle charge as well, while Kodi Nikorima remains in isolation due to Covid-19.

With Edward Kosi pushed into the reserves as the 18th man, the wings are now filled by Rocco Berry and Viliami Vailea. Both players had been in the reserves for some weeks.

The second row also sees Euan Aitken teaming with Bayley Sironen, with Jazz Tevaga at loose forward.

Coach Nathan Brown has otherwise kept his starting squad the same, such as Addin Fonua-Blake still in captain colours, Reece Walsh as fullback and Chanel Harris-Tavita and Shaun Johnson as the halves.

Despite the Warriors riding two losses in a row, the Canberra club have yet to win since round three, ranking 15th on the NRL table. The current tally of all their past meetings favours the Raiders with 22 wins, while the Warriors are at 20 wins.

Another signing for the Warriors

Meanwhile, a Christchurch-born young gun has signed with the New Zealand club, according to warriors.kiwi. Daejarn Asi (Ngāi Tahu, Tūhoe, Hāmoa, Pākehā) has been released from the North Queensland Cowboys, having played 10 first grade games for the club in both the 2020-2021 seasons.

The five-eight, centre and fullback multi-role player has scored one try back in his debut against the Panthers in July 2020, as well as representing the Māori All-Stars in last year's 10-10 draw against the Indigenous All-Stars. The 21-year-old has also been named in the reserves at #21 this week.

Asi is the latest in a trend of signings by the Warriors. Next year will see Mitchell Barnett, Marata Niukore, Dylan Walker and Luke Metcalf join the club.

It’s the #11th ranked Warriors against the #15th ranked Raiders. Who will get the victory? Find out on Saturday this week, 5pm on Sky Sport.