Pack changes for Warriors

Simon Mannering has been named in the starting line-up for the first time this season replacing the injured Leivaha Pulu for the New Zealand Warriors’ seventh-round match against unbeaten St George Illawarra at Mount Smart Stadium on Friday night.

While centre Solomone Kata was also forced off late in the game with an ankle injury, he has been selected with head coach Stephen Kearney saying he is a chance to take his place.

In his first two games back from a shoulder injury, Mannering was used off the bench for 57 minutes against North Queensland (70 metres from nine runs and 23 tackles) and 61 minutes against Brisbane (70 metres from 10 runs, 33 tackles).

Filling Mannering’s spot on the interchange is 44-game front rower Albert Vete, who is yet to play at first-grade level this season. After serving a suspension hanging over from last season, Vete has appeared in the Vodafone Warriors’ Intrust Super Premiership side in four of their last five games.

In the 34-4 win over the Sea Eagles last Saturday, he thundered 30 metres to finish off a superb long-range try, playing a total of 52 minutes and making 174 metres from 15 runs including 55 post-contact metres with six tackle breaks.

Vete aside, the other players on the extended eight-man bench are utility Jazz Tevaga, prop Sam Lisone, centre Anthony Gelling, prop Chris Satae, halfback Mason Lino, second rower Isaiah Papalii and wing Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad.

WARRIORS v ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS

Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
8.00pm, Friday, April 20, 2018


WARRIORS

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)
2 DAVID Fusitua
3 PETA HIKU
4 SOLOMONE KATA
5 KEN MAUMALO
6 BLAKE GREEN
7 SHAUN JOHNSON
8 BUNTY AFOA
9 ISSAC LUKE
10 AGNATIUS PAASI
11 SIMON MANNERING
12 TOHU HARRIS
13 ADAM BLAIR

Interchange:
14 JAZZ TEVAGA
15 SAM LISONE
16 ALBERT VETE
17 ANTHONY GELLING
18 CHRIS SATAE
20 MASON LINO
21 Isaiah Papalii
22 CHARNZE NICOLL-KLOKSTAD

HEAD COACH | STEPHEN KEARNEY
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