Shaun Johnson and Sam Tomkins, stars of the Auckland Nines tournament, will play in Sunday’s NRL trial against the Broncos along with Simon Mannering.
Fleet-footed playmakers Shaun Johnson and Sam Tomkins, and their Warriors captain Simon Mannering will have their only NRL trial game of 2014 when they face the Brisbane Broncos in Dunedin on Sunday.
Johnson and English recruit Tomkins sat out last week’s Gold Coast and Wigan trials to prepare for the NRL Auckland Nines, where they both shone with Johnson named the tournament’s most valuable player.
Mannering has been rested following a gruelling 2013 schedule with both the Warriors and the Kiwis.
Also included in the 22-man squad named by head coach Matt Elliott are another 11 of the club’s Nines players along with NRL veterans Jerome Ropati, Ben Matulino, Sam Rapira, Jacob Lillyman, Nathan Friend and Feleti Mateo.
As well as Tomkins fellow new signings Jayson Bukuya and Chad Townsend will also line up.
“There’s plenty of quality in this squad, not least the players we had at the Nines who all did a terrific job representing the club at Eden Park,” Elliott said.
“Shaun’s a known quantity and, while we were well aware we were getting someone special with Sam, the New Zealand public saw for themselves last weekend why we’re so excited to have him.”
Elliott said he was tempted to play try-scoring record holder Manu Vatuvei but has opted to continue to prepare him for the opening-round encounter with the Parramatta Eels on March 9.
Warriors squad: Jayson Bukuya, Glen Fisiiahi, Nathan Friend, David Fusitua, Charlie Gubb, Konrad Hurrell, Shaun Johnson, Solomone Kata, Jacob Lillyman, Tuimoala Lolohea, Sione Lousi, Simon Mannering (captain), Suaia Matagi, Feleti Mateo, Ben Matulino, John Palavi, Dominique Peyroux, Sam Rapira, Jerome Ropati, Sam Tomkins, Chad Townsend, Carlos Tuimavave.