Vodafone Warriors forward Wairangi Koopu is eyeing his 50th consecutive first-grade appearance.
Sunday's clash against the Bulldogs will be the 26-year-old's 49th straight match in a sequence stretching back to 2004.
He played the last eight matches that season, followed by all 24 in 2005 and he has been ever-present in the first 16 matches this year.
That leaves him in line to reach the half century in Saturday week's home match against Parramatta.
Koopu plays his 133rd career game on Sunday, ranking him fourth on the Vodafone Warriors' all-time list behind Stacey Jones (238), Awen Guttenbeil - who plays his 163rd match this weekend - and Logan Swann (145).
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ There are no changes to the 17 players originally named.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The team had a training run this afternoon and will train again tomorrow morning before leaving for Sydney.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Sam Rapira is travelling as the 18th man.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Captain Steve Price has come through Wednesday nightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s final State of Origin match untroubled after playing the first 70 minutes without being interchanged. It will be the first time Price has played in front of a Bulldogs crowd since leaving his old club.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Evarn Tuimavave reverts to the interchange bench after starting in PriceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s absence last week.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Awen Guttenbeil has again been named in No 11 but is set to start the match from the bench as has been the case in recent weeks. This enables him to be introduced to the match as one of the early interchanges to provide on-field leadership in the middle stages of the game.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The same backline has appeared in each of the Vodafone WarriorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ four consecutive wins and is set to start for the fifth straight time on Sunday.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Epalahame Lauaki (pectoral) and Todd Byrne (arm) remain on the injured list this week. They are both due to return in early August.
TRANS-TASMAN RUGBY LEAGUE CUP
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The three players from the Vodafone WarriorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ first-grade squad who were in the New Zealand Residents team at the Trans-Tasman Rugby League Cup tournament in Rotorua have all returned to training. All three scored tries when the Residents beat New South Wales in the final Ã¢â‚¬â€œ winger Cooper Vuna with two and back rower Sonny Fai and prop George Tuakura with one each.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Only two Bartercard Cup matches are scheduled this weekend. No Vodafone Warriors first graders are due to be involved.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Interchange forward Wairangi Koopu is in line to put together a sequence of 50 consecutive NRL appearances. He lifts his total to 49 on Sunday. He started his run by playing the last eight matches in 2004, followed by all 24 in 2005 and this weekendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s game will be his 17th this season.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Standoff Jerome Ropati and back rower Louis Anderson make their 50th first-grade appearances on Sunday. Ropati made his debut in late 2003, Anderson early in the 2004 season.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Fullback Brent Webb and loose forward Sione Faumuina are close to making their 100th first-grade appearances. Webb plays his 98th match on Sunday and is on target to become the 11th player to appear in 100 first-grade matches for the club when the Vodafone Warriors play Penrith in round 21. Faumuina makes his 97th appearance on Sunday, his 86th for the club (he played 11 times for Canberra).
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ WebbÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 37th try for the club in last weekendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s win against Penrith lifted to 202 first-grade points.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Lance Hohaia needs two points and Faumuina needs four points to bring up 150 first-grade points.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Tony Martin needs only four more points to become the third-highest individual points-scorer in a season for the club. He has 144 points. Ahead of him are Ivan Cleary who scored 242 points in 2002 and 173 in 2001 and Stacey Jones who notched 147 points in 2005.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The Vodafone WarriorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ regular front rowers have scored a total of 21 of the clubÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 70 tries so far this season Ã¢â‚¬â€œ prop Ruben Wiki has five while fellow props Steve Price and Evarn Tuimavave have four along with hooker Nathan Fien. Interchange hooker Lance Hohaia has three tries and George Gatis, who played 10 straight matches earlier in the season, has one.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The regular outside backs have 29 tries between them Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Brent Webb (9), Tony Martin (6), Simon Mannering (6), Manu Vatuvei (6) and Patrick Ah Van (2).
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The Vodafone Warriors are seeking their first win over the Bulldogs since winning 48-22 at Sydney Showground in 2003.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ SundayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s match will be the first time the two sides have met in Sydney since that match in 2003.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Last weekend the Vodafone Warriors beat Penith for the first time since 2001.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The win gave the club its first run of four straight wins since beating Brisbane (22-14), the Roosters (26-24), Wests Tigers (32-16) and the Bulldogs (48-22) in 2003. They went on to extend the run to five wins with a 17-16 victory against Canberra. In their four wins in the past month, the Vodafone Warriors have scored a total of 146 points and conceded 52.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Seven players are set to extend their run of appearing in all of the clubÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s NRL matches this season. SundayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s match will be the 17h on end for Brent Webb, Tony Martin, Grant Rovelli, Nathan Fien, Wairangi Koopu, Evarn Tuimavave and Micheal Luck.
PREVIOUS ENCOUNTERS V BULLDOGS
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Overall: Played 20, Won 8, Drawn 2, Lost 10
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ At Telstra Stadium: Played 2, Won 0, Drawn 1, Lost 1
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Biggest win: 34-8 at Ericsson Stadium, 2001
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Most recent win: 48-22, Sydney Showground, 2003