You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Warriors v Dragons: Sloan wins fullback battle; Johnson's back

It has taken just one season for Dragons coach Anthony Griffin to re-shape the roster, with five new recruits in the squad to face the Warriors.

Former Kangaroos prop Aaron Woods, Queensland Origin forwards Jaydn Su'A and Francis Molo, former Maroons utility Moses Mbye and strike centre Moses Suli will all make their first premiership appearance in the Red V jersey.

However, what has Dragons fans most excited is the young talent in their backline, with fullback Tyrell Sloan and five-eighth Talatau Amone both just 19 years of age and winger Cody Ramsey and star centre Zac Lomax being 22.

For the Warriors, the match marks the return of prodigal son Shaun Johnson after a three-year stint at Cronulla and he will re-unite with Kiwis halves partner Kodi Nikorima, who was signed as his replacement.

Sportsbet Betting preview: Warriors v Dragons

The Rundown

Team news

Warriors: No changes in the updated squad released 24 hours before kick-off.

Chanel Harris-Tavita starts at fullback in the absence of Reece Walsh, who is due back in round two. Shaun Johnson is back in Warriors colours in the No.7 and he'll be partnered in the halves by Kodi Nikorima.

Teenage centre Viliami Vailea plays his third career game.

Storm recruit Aaron Pene makes his club debut as part of a strong bench which includes Jazz Tevaga, Ben Murdoch-Masila and Bayley Sironen.

Dragons: No changes in the updated squad released 24 hours before kick-off.

Coach Anthony Griffin obviously liked what he saw in the Charity Shield, naming the same starting 13 for the season opener.

Young gun Tyrell Sloan gets the nod at fullback with Cody Ramsey on the wing while another rising star, Talatau Amone, partners skipper Ben Hunt in the halves.

Aaron Woods and Blake Lawrie are the starting props with Francis Molo and Josh Kerr backing them up from the bench.

Utility Moses Mbye returns from a quad injury to take his place on the bench alongside Molo, Kerr and former Sea Eagle Jack Gosiewski.

George Burgess and Tariq Sims are the notable absentees from Griffin's first squad of 2022.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Chanel Harris-Tavita
    Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Tyrell Sloan
  • Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
    Winger for Dragons is number 2 Cody Ramsey
  • Centre for Warriors is number 3 Viliami Vailea
    Centre for Dragons is number 3 Moses Suli
  • Centre for Warriors is number 4 Rocco Berry
    Centre for Dragons is number 4 Zac Lomax
  • Winger for Warriors is number 5 Marcelo Montoya
    Winger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele Ravalawa
  • Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Kodi Nikorima
    Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Talatau Amone
  • Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson
    Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben Hunt

Forwards

  • Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
    Prop for Dragons is number 8 Aaron Woods
  • Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
    Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Andrew McCullough
  • Prop for Warriors is number 10 Bunty Afoa
    Prop for Dragons is number 10 Blake Lawrie
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Euan Aitken
    2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Jack Bird
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Eliesa Katoa
    2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Jaydn Su'A
  • Lock for Warriors is number 13 Josh Curran
    Lock for Dragons is number 13 Jack De Belin

Interchange

  • Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Jazz Tevaga
    Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Moses Mbye
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Ben Murdoch-Masila
    Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Francis Molo
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Aaron Pene
    Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Josh Kerr
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Bayley Sironen
    Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Jack Gosiewski

Reserves

  • Replacement for Warriors is number 18 Jack Murchie
    Replacement for Dragons is number 18 Jackson Ford

Match Officials

  • Referee: Peter Gough
  • Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
  • Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein

Last updated:

Key match-up

Shaun Johnson v Ben Hunt: The battle between the star playmakers is likely to have a big bearing on the outcome of the match, with Hunt providing the experience to a young but otherwise talented Dragons backline and Johnson bringing flair to a Warriors outfit missing suspended star Reece Walsh.

Stat Attack

The omens aren't good for St George Illawarra fans, with the Dragons having lost their past nine matches in Queensland, while the Warriors are somewhat of a bogey team after winning five of the past six clashes between the two teams. In addition, the Warriors have won four of their past five opening round games, while the Dragons haven't started the season with a win since 2018.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

VIEW ALL PARTNERS