The New Zealand Warriors have named their squad for the Round 1 clash against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in Auckland on Saturday.

Adam Keighran has been named to make his NRL debut in the No 6 jersey alongside halfback Blake Green. The 21-year-old started at standoff in each of the club’s NRL trial wins over Melbourne and the Wests Tigers.

Head coach Stephen Kearney has given him the chance against a club he played for in the former Intrust Super Premiership (now the Canterbury Cup NSW) in 2017 before switching to Penrith last year.

While Keighran will be the only player on first-grade debut for the Vodafone Warriors on Saturday, another former Bulldog Lachlan Burr (26) will start at loose forward in his first outing for the club and his first NRL appearance in three years after last playing for Gold Coast in 2016. Keighran becomes Vodafone Warrior #231 and Burr #232, Burr coming into the side for Isaiah Papalii. who has been stood down for a week for a breach of club standards.

Nathaniel Roache will make his first appearance since 2017. Veteran Issac Luke, who has been recovering from shoulder surgery, hasn’t been included.

In other selection decisions Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney has given different roles to last year’s regular centres Peta Hiku and Solomone Kata. Hiku is set to line up on the left edge combining with second rower Tohu Harris and wing Ken Maumalo while the right edge combination sees Kata linked with David Fusitua and second rower Adam Blair.

With Dally M interchange player of the year Jazz Tevaga confirmed in his familiar #14 jersey, Ah Mau and Sam Lisone are named as the bench props with Bunty Afoa handed a starting spot. In jersey #17 is Blake Ayshford, covering the outside backs and the back row. Also on the extended eight-man bench is Chanael Harris-Tavita, who was competing for the standoff position.

WARRIORS

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)

2 DAVID Fusitua

3 PETA HIKU

4 SOLOMONE KATA

5 KEN MAUMALO

6 ADAM KEIGHRAN

7 BLAKE GREEN

8 AGNATIUS PAASI

9 NATHANIEL ROACHE

10 BUNTY AFOA

11 ADAM BLAIR

12 TOHU HARRIS

13 LACHLAN BURR

Interchange:

14 JAZZ TEVAGA

15 SAM LISONE

16 LEESON AH MAU

17 BLAKE AYSHFORD

18 GERARD BEALE

20 LIGI SAO

21 KARL LAWTON

22 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA

HEAD COACH | STEPHEN KEARNEY

Photo credit: Lex Wright

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, New Zealand Warriors

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