Warriors to trial all four prized recruits

Vodafone Warriors coach Ivan Cleary will use all four of the club’s major new signings in Saturday’s charity game against the Newcastle Knights at Wingham Park in Greymouth. <br><br> Included in a list of 21 players he named today for the trial are the ex-Parramatta duo Feleti Mateo and Krisnan Inu, former Brisbane Broncos star Shaun Berrigan and Steve Rapira, who’s back in Auckland after breaking into the NRL during a two-year stint with the North Queensland Cowboys. <br><br> The match, the first of four New Zealand-based NRL trials on consecutive Saturdays, is being played on Miners’ Solidarity Day; the game is the result of a partnership between the Vodafone Warriors, the Knights, the National Rugby League and the New Zealand Rugby League with all proceeds from the day shared between the West Coast Rugby League and families affected by the loss of 29 lives in the Pike River mining tragedy last November. <br><br> The Vodafone Warriors fly to Greymouth this morning (Thursday), taking their entire NRL squad for a trip which features a number of community appearances including a fund-raising dinner on Friday night. <br><br>While Cleary hasn’t yet revealed his starting combination, he has confirmed Tongan captain Mateo, former Kiwi Inu and ex-Kangaroos and Queensland utility Berrigan will play for the club for the first time. Rapira will have his first outing for the Vodafone Warriors’ NRL side after playing for the Vodafone Junior Warriors in their foundation NYC side in 2008. <br><br>Also named is centre Joel Moon who was yesterday called into the Indigenous All Stars to replace the injured Sam Thaiday for the match against the NRL All Stars in Robina next Saturday (February 12). Mateo is the Vodafone Warriors’ representative in the NRL All Stars; both players leave for Australia on Sunday morning. <br><br>Set to play in their first NRL trial are fullback Glen Fisiiahi and second rower Matt Robinson, both NYC premiership winners with the Vodafone Junior Warriors last year, along with captain Ben Henry, who missed the grand final with injury. The other new faces are 2009 Vodafone Junior Warriors prop James Gavet plus Auckland Vulcans halfback Pita Godinet and New Zealand resident player of the year Saulala Houma; Godinet and Houma have been training with the NRL squad on off-season contracts. <br><br>Among those not being used for this trial are captain Simon Mannering, Lance Hohaia and Ben Matulino from the Kiwis’ Four Nations-winning side while Kiwi winger Manu Vatuvei is continuing his recovery from the arm he broke against England in late October. In Mannering’s absence, Micheal Luck will again lead the side. <br><br>“It’s very much the start of our trials program, a hit-out to give us a chance to have a look at some players for the first time,” said Cleary. <br><br>“We’ll try a few options and mix it up a fair bit but really the time we have in Greymouth is principally about the occasion, just being there to do what we can to give the local people a bit of joy. They’ve had a terrible time with the mining tragedy and we hope we might be able to lift their spirits a bit through being out and about in their community.” <br><br>Apart from Luck and Moon, other 2010 regulars involved will be Kevin Locke, Jacob Lillyman, Jeremy Latimore, South Islander Lewis Brown, Ukuma Ta’ai and Junior Kiwi Bill Tupou, who played 12 NRL matches last year. <br><br>The Vodafone Warriors have been running a 35-man training squad since returning to training last month. <br><br>In the following weekends they play Parramatta in Rotorua (February 12) – a preview of their March 12 first-round clash at Eden Park – Queensland Cup side Burleigh in Whangarei (February 19) and Manly at North Harbour Stadium in Albany (February 26). <br><br>Also in trials action throughout February will be the NYC premiership-winning Vodafone Junior Warriors, who will have a total of six build-up matches before opening their title defence against the Eels at Eden Park on March 12. Their first outing is against the Wellington Orcas at Porirua this Sunday. <br><br> <b>The squad for the Greymouth match is: <br><br>Shaun Berrigan, Lewis Brown, Glen Fisiiahi, James Gavet, Pita Godinet, Ben Henry, Saulala Houma, Krisnan Inu, Jeremy Latimore, Jacob Lillyman, Kevin Locke, Sione Lousi, Micheal Luck, Alehana Mara, Feleti Mateo, Joel Moon, Steve Rapira, Matt Robinson, Ukuma Ta'ai, Elijah Taylor, Bill Tupou. <br><br> VODAFONE WARRIORS – 2011 NRL AND NYC TRIALS</b> <br><br> Saturday, February 5 – Wingham Park, Greymouth <br>6pm: Miners’ Solidarity Day – Vodafone Warriors v Newcastle Knights <br><br> - Ground entry from $5 for children and $15 for adults <br>- Tickets available from Greymouth i-Site Visitor Centre <br>Email: greymouth@i-site.org <br>Phone: 03 768 5101 <br>Fax: 03 768 0317 <br><br> Sunday, February 6 – Porirua Park, Porirua <br>5.30pm: Vodafone Junior Warriors v Wellington Orcas 20s <br> Tickets ($10 adults) from <a href="http://www.ticketdirect.co.nz">www.ticketdirect.co.nz</a>