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Walker returns, Nicoll-Klokstad milestone

Dyalan Walker is back for the Warriors while Chrnze Nicoll-Klokstad plays his 100th game
Dylan Walker returns to the Warriors after injury for the ANZAC Day game against the Titans PHOTO: NRL

Utility Dylan Walker will return from an ankle injury while fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad will mark his 100th career appearance when the One New Zealand Warriors face the Gold Coast Titans in just their second Anzac Day home game at Mt Smart.


Walker is set for just his third appearance of the season after last playing in the

round two clash against Melbourne on March 16, his comeback is offset by the loss of

experienced second rower Kurt Capewell.


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Capewell played the full 80 minutes and made 43 tackles in Friday night’s loss to St George Illawarra but suffered a throat injury which has seen him ruled out. It’s yet to be confirmed how long he will be sidelined.


In his absence Wellington-raised rookie Jacob Laban, who turned 20 last week, has been

brought off the bench to start for the first time. His first three appearances since his

debut against South Sydney have been off the interchange.


Set to make his NRL debut from the bench is highly-regarded prop Zyon Maiu’u, also 20,

who was originally signed at the same time as Laban in 2021; the pair were also re-

signed last November through to the end of the 2026 season.


Maiu’u appeared in all 27 matches for the club’s New South Wales Cup side which went

within a win of the grand final last year and has added another five appearances this

year.


As well as Maiu’u and Walker, who’ll play his 222nd match on Thursday, the other players

listed on the interchange are prop Tom Ale and Paul Roache, who covers hooker and the

halves.


Along with Capewell, also out of contention again this week is utility Chanel Harris-Tavita

(calf) plus Marata Niukore (foot), Jazz Tevaga (hamstring), Bunty Afoa (hamstring), Luke

Metcalf (leg) and Demitric Sifakula (knee).


The game will be a double celebration for Nicoll-Klokstad who, like all his teammates but

Shaun Johnson, will experience playing an Anzac Day match at Go Media Stadium for the

first time as well as bringing up his 100-game milestone.


He started his NRL career with seven games for the Warriors in 2017 before racking up

66 games for Canberra from 2019-2022.


In his first three outings this season he has averaged a phenomenal 287 metres a game

– 263 against South Sydney, 341 against Manly Warringah and 258 against St George

Illawarra.


This will be the One New Zealand Warriors’ 15th Anzac Day game and the third to fall on

a Thursday after 2013 and 2019; of the previous 14, 13 have been played in Melbourne.


Johnson is the only survivor from either squad from the first Anzac Day match at Go

Media Stadium against Gold Coast in 2015, a game the Titans won 38-24.


1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 3 Rocco Berry, 4 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 5 Marcelo Montoya, 6 Te Maire Martin, 7 Shaun Johnson, 8 Addin Fonua-Blake, 9 Wayde Egan, 10 Mitch Barnett, 11 Jackson Ford, 12 Jacob Laban, 13 Tohu Harris

Interchange: 14-Dylan Walker, 15-Tom Ale, 16-Zyon Maiu'u, 17-Paul Roache, 18-Adam Pompey, 20-Taine Tuaupiki, 21-Ali Leiataua, 22-Edward Kosi, 23-Tanner Stowers-Smith



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