The debutants take their place after strong performances in the club’s only trial game against the Northern Pride last Friday which the Hunters won 46-24.
Stargroth Amean, Kato Ottio, David Lapua, Henry Wan, Enoch Maki, Bland Abavu, Ase Boas, Warren Glare and Atte Bina Wabo will play their first official match for the Hunters this weekend.
Kumul World Cup players Maki and Boas, are two players expected to feature prominently on Sunday given their previous international experience.
Coach Michael Marum announced the team on Tuesday after being notified that Lawrence Tu’u had been cited for a Grade 3 dangerous throw against the Pride.
“Lawrence has carry-over points from a similar incident late last year and will miss the first six games of the season,” Marum said.
“It’s unfortunate for him but he will no doubt be itching to get back into the team when he is cleared to play.”
Marum said the Hunters management would contest the charge to have the penalty lessened to three or four weeks.
Despite having four players out with injury, Marum named a strong line-up for the season opener.
“The boys performed well against the Pride last Friday and I have full confidence in this group to get the job done,” Marum said.
“The opening game of the season is always important to get away to a good start.”
Unavailable for selection due to injury include Sebastian Pandia (broken arm), Adex Wera (wrist), Noel Zeming (groin), Timothy Lomai (groin).
The only player not included in the 18 is forward Jayjay Garrison.
Israel Eliab will captain the side.
Hunters: 1. Stargroth Amean, 2. David Lapua, 3. Thompson Teteh, 4. Kato Ottio, 5. Edward Goma, 6. Israel Eliab (c), 7. Roger Laka, 8. Enoch Maki, 9. Wartovo Puara Jr,10. Henry Wan, 11. Willie Minoga,12. Brandy Peter, 13. Adam Korave; Interchange:14. Ase Boas, 15. Esau Siune, 16. Atte Bina Wabo, 17. Bland Abavu, 18. Warren Glare (one to be omitted) Fixtures: Round 1, Sat, Mar 7 — Ipswich Jets vs Wynnum Manly, Townsville Blackhawks vs Mackay Cutters, Sunshine Coast Falcons vs Norths Devils; Sun, Mar 8 Easts Tigers vs Northern Pride Redcliffe Dolphins vs Tweed Heads Seagulls, Souths Logan Magpies vs PNG Hunters, CQ Capras vs Burleigh Bears
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