Chanel Harris-Tavita is set to make his NRL debut for the Vodafone Warriors after being named in the halves for Friday’s match against the Gold Coast Titans at Mt Smart Stadium.
The Junior Kiwis star, who turns 20 on Wednesday, will line up at standoff alongside experienced halfback Blake Green.
Adam Keighran, who started at No 6 through the first three games of the season, has been included on an extended bench.
“There’s no question our performance against the Sea Eagles last week was disappointing,” coach Stephen Kearney said.
“As a result, we’ve made a few adjustments to our team for Friday night.
“This is a huge opportunity for Chanel. He’s worked hard throughout the pre-season and he now gets his chance at NRL level.”
In other changes, Karl Lawton will start at hooker with Issac Luke ruled out due to a hamstring complaint.
Forward Ligi Sao is also in line for his first NRL appearance of the year after being included on the bench, while Leeson Ah Mau will start at prop.
“Issac has tweaked his hamstring and we didn’t want to risk him this week,” Kearney added.
“Karl gets his opportunity on Friday and will be hungry to put in a good performance.”
The Vodafone Warriors will head into the round four clash looking to bounce back after losses to the Tigers and the Sea Eagles in the last fortnight.
For Friday night’s game, the Vodafone Warriors have partnered with New Zealander of the Year Mike King’s Gumboot Friday initiative and are calling on fans to wear their gumboots to Mt Smart Stadium.
Fans are also being encouraged to get down to the ground early with Pt Chevalier and Glenora kicking off the 2019 SAS Fox Memorial Premiership Qualifers at 5:40pm as the curtain-raiser to the NRL match.
VODAFONE WARRIORS v GOLD COAST TITANS
8pm, Friday, April 5, 2019
Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c)
2 David Fusitu’a
3 Peta Hiku
4 Solomone Kata
5 Ken Maumalo
6 Chanel Harris-Tavita
7 Blake Green
8 Agnatius Paasi
9 Karl Lawton
10 Leeson Ah Mau
11 Isaiah Papali’i
12 Tohu Harris
13 Adam Blair
14 Jazz Tevaga
15 Bunty Afoa
16 Lachlan Burr
17 Ligi Sao
18 Gerard Beale
20 Leivaha Pulu
21 Adam Keighran
22 Blake Ayshford