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New halves and back row combinations are the features of the Vodafone Warriors’ reshaped line-up for their 21st-round NRL encounter with the Cronulla Sharks at Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday (5.00pm kick-off; match day sponsor: DEWALT; game day theme: Sir Peter Leitch Appreciation Day).
With halfback Shaun Johnson (ankle) sidelined for the season, head coach Andrew McFadden has today confirmed the versatile Tuimoala Lolohea in the halves, where he played the last 55 minutes of Saturday’s clash against Manly after Johnson left the field.
Glen Fisiiahi is set for his first NRL appearance in more than 15 months after being named on the wing for the Vodafone Warriors’ 20th-round game against Manly at Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday.
The 24-year-old speedster’s 2014 season ended with a shoulder injury against Cronulla on April 5 last year, a week after he’d scored four tries in the club’s victory over Wests Tigers.
Shaun Johnson returns to where it all started when he makes his 100th NRL appearance in the Vodafone Warriors’ 19th-round NRL encounter with the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium on Sunday (2.00pm kick-off local time, 4.00pm NZT).
Now 24, he made his debut there as a 20-year-old in a 6-13 loss to the Roosters on June 04, 2011 going on to appear in the grand final in his rookie season.
With the Michael Moore Trophy at stake, the contest rounds off another home tripleheader which starts with the Vodafone Warriors facing Illawarra in the New South Wales Cup (11.40am kick-off) and is followed by the NYC clash between the Vodafone Junior Warriors and the Storm (1.35pm kick-off).
Johnson’s 99th appearance on Sunday leaves him on track for his 100th against the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium on Sunday, July 19; he made his debut against the same side and at the same venue in 2011.
It will be the 200th career appearance for 31-year-old Queensland Origin prop Lillyman while Kiwi second rower Thompson (26) will be playing his 100th first-grade match.
The clash against the Raiders headlines another tripleheader programme for the club which kicks off with the NYC clash between the fourth-placed Vodafone Junior Warriors and the eighth-ranked Raiders (12.40pm) followed by the Vodafone Warriors (third) taking on the Mounties (second) in the New South Wales Cup (2.40pm kick-off).
Origin representatives Jacob Lillyman and Ryan Hoffman have been named in an otherwise unchanged Vodafone Warriors starting line-up for Saturday’s 15th-round NRL game against Gold Coast at Cbus Super Stadium in Robina (5.30pm kick-off local time; 7.30pm NZT).
Queensland front rower Lillyman and New South Wales second rower Hoffman go head to head again in Origin II at the Melbourne Cricket Ground tomorrow night.
Vodafone Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden has made seven changes for the club’s 14th-round NRL encounter with the Sydney Roosters at Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday
McFadden was forced to make two changes to the NRL side’s starting pack with prop Jacob Lillyman (Queensland) and second rower Ryan Hoffman (New South Wales) both retained for tomorrow week’s Origin II battle in Melbourne.
Vodafone Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden has added utility Dominique Peyroux and wing Ken Maumalo to travel to Perth for the club’s 13th-round NRL encounter with defending premiers the South Sydney Rabbitohs at nib Stadium on Saturday (3.30pm kick-off local time; 7.30pm NZT).
The 19-man squad heads out tomorrow on the competition’s longest away trip for the fourth consecutive season.
Star fullback Sam Tomkins will return from his lengthy injury layoff for the Warriors face Newcastle this weekend.
Tomkins has overcome his knee injury and returns in the No.1 jersey after two months in the casualty ward, with young gun Tuimoala Lolohea shifting to the centres after filling in at the back since Round 4.
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