7 Mar 2009

Jones rules himself out of first NRL match

7:19 am on 7 March 2009

The veteran rugby league star Stacey Jones has all but ruled himself out of the Warriors' opening NRL clash of the season against Parramatta in Auckland.

A niggling calf injury kept Jones from playing the last of the team's trial matches and the halfback says it's frustrating he'll have to sit out the match.

Coach Ivan Cleary says Jones, 32, willl be missed on the field, but injury is par for the course with older players.

Cleary's not talking about his lineup for the match on Saturday week but it's likely Nathan Fien will start in the Number 7 jersey with Joel Moon at five-eighth.

The Warriors have had a strong pre-season start, with a clean-sweep of wins in their three build-up matches.