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Warriors Perth-bound to face Manly

The Warriors second grand final rematch of the year against defending premier Manly has been confirmed for Perth on Saturday, July 28.
Warriors Perth-bound to face Manly
by NRL

The Warriors second grand final rematch of the year against defending premier Manly has been confirmed for Perth on Saturday, July 28.

Rather than hosting the game at home at Brookvale Oval, Manly has agreed to take the 21st-round contest to the 43,500-seater Patersons Stadium (previously Subiaco Oval).

It will be the second time this year the two clubs have clashed away from their regular home ground, the Vodafone Warriors taking their season-opening clash against the Sea Eagles to Eden Park on March 4 when they drew a bumper crowd of 37,502.

Vodafone Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah said the scheduling of the match offered both clubs a rare promotional opportunity in Western Australia.

"The NRL is always keen to explore ways of generating awareness throughout Australasia and we're certainly excited about being involved in this initiative," he said.

"There are so many people of New Zealand heritage living in Western Australia and plenty of fans who support the Vodafone Warriors. It'll be a great opportunity to connect with the community and for our fans there to support us."

Scurrah said both the NRL and club sponsor Air New Zealand would be providing assistance with travel to and from Perth.

The match will kick off at 5.30pm local time with the NYC fixture between the clubs being played in Sydney.

The Perth game falls between the Vodafone Warriors' home fixtures against Newcastle (July 20-23) and Cronulla (August 3-6).

Patersons Stadium is the home ground to Australian Football League clubs the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers. It has also been used for rugby union internationals as well as being the previous home venue for the Western Force in the Super Rugby competition.

It will be the Vodafone Warriors' first trip to Perth since Cronulla's 'home' game was played at the then-Members Equity Stadium in May 2005, a match the Sharks won 28-24 through a late Nigel Vagana try. Manu Vatuvei and Jerome Ropati are the only players who appeared in that match still with the Vodafone Warriors (Vatuvei was on the wing, Ropati at standoff) while Evarn Tuimavave is now with the Newcastle Knights; the remaining 14 players are either playing for English Super League clubs or have retired.

The Vodafone Warriors previously played the defunct Western Reds in Perth in 1996 (Optus Cup) and 1997 (Super League), losing both matches.

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