Album: Trial 3: Warriors Vs Broncos In Dunedin Saturday 23rd 7:30pm
Ropati returns for Dunedin trial<br /> <br /> Richard Becht<br /> <br /> Tuesday 19 February 2013 11:18 PM<br /> <br /> Jerome Ropati (pictured) will play his first game in 10 months and Todd Lowrie his first for his new club when the Vodafone Warriors take on Brisbane in Saturday night’s historic NRL trial at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin (7.30pm kick-off). Photo: Photosport.<br /> <br /> Ropati has been sidelined since having his 2012 campaign ended by another knee injury in the club’s 10th-round encounter with the Sydney Roosters in Auckland last May.<br /> <br /> The 28-year-old 11-season veteran has been named on the bench for his planned return in the Vodafone Warriors’ final trial before they open their 2013 programme against Parramatta on Saturday, March 9. A weeks later they stage their blockbuster first home game of the season – ED3N – THE RISING – against the Sydney Roosters at Eden Park (March 16).<br /> <br /> Lowrie missed last weekend’s trial against Hamilton when he returned home after his grandfather passed away. He’ll line up at loose forward in his first outing for the Vodafone Warriors after joining the club from Melbourne.<br /> <br /> Also returning are Sam and Steve Rapira who were ruled out of the Hamilton hit-out after originally being named.<br /> <br /> Vodafone Warriors head coach Matthew Elliott was especially pleased the way had been cleared for Ropati to make his comeback.<br /> <br /> “It has been another long battle back from injury for Jerome and we’ve all admired the way he has gone about it,” he said.<br /> <br /> “He knows better than anyone else what it’s like when you go through setbacks of the type he has endured. He’s a quality player and person, one who’s so important to our club and our team.<br /> <br /> “We’re all looking forward to having him back. He has done the work and there’s no doubt he deserves a change of luck.”<br /> <br /> With 2012 premiership winner Lowrie in the side, Feleti Mateo is named in the second row with captain Simon Mannering. Lowrie’s inclusion is the only change to the starting combination Elliott used against the Panthers.