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Jones To Make 250th NRL Appearance For Vodafone Warriors On Friday Night

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Jones To Make 250th NRL Appearance For Vodafone Warriors On Friday Night

Auckland, New Zealand, June 09, 2009 - Vodafone Warriors halfback Stacey Jones will add another chapter to his list of achievements when he becomes the first player in the club's history to reach the 250-game NRL milestone in Friday night's 14th-round clash against Newcastle at Mount Smart Stadium.

The 33-year-old Jones will be having his 12th outing of the year since rejoining the club after his 238-game stint from 1995 to 2005.

Reunited with him in the halves for the landmark occasion will be utility Lance Hohaia, named at standoff today to replace Joel Moon who has been sidelined after being concussed during last Sunday's loss to Cronulla. Hohaia's move is one of several changes made to the line-up.

Returning from a hamstring injury is Patrick Ah Van named at right centre with Simon Mannering preferred at left centre ahead of Jerome Ropati. Hooker Ian Henderson, who has been on bereavement leave following his father Martin's death, is back after missing the last two games.

The back row has been reshuffled with Ben Matulino and Lewis Brown, who scored his first NRL try last weekend, named as the starting second rowers. Aaron Heremaia goes to the bench and Jesse Royal is back on the interchange - he also missed the Cronulla match - along with Russell Packer and Jacob Lillyman. "We've made some changes looking to bring some enthusiasm into the side," said coach Ivan Cleary.

"There's no question we doing a lot of things well but we again had an issue against Cronulla with our start and with our energy levels in the opening part of the match."

The Vodafone Warriors have again urged fans to observe the blackout call for Friday night's match. "We'd love to see as many supporters as possible dressed in black," said chief executive Wayne Scurrah.

"Everyone did a great job for our first two night games of the year against Parramatta and Brisbane. It was a fantastic sight for those games and we'd urge fans to do the same again this time."

The match, being covered by Channel Nine, starts later than usual at 8.30pm with the Vodafone Junior Warriors meeting the Knights in the NYC curtain-raiser at 6.15pm.

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