It shaped as the most intriguing Team List Tuesday since Round 1 for Warriors fans, but Stephen Kearney’s squad to face undefeated St George Illawarra on Friday night is relatively light on major talking points.
With Leivaha Pulu sidelined by a foot injury, Simon Mannering makes his first start of the season in the second-row.
Mannering’s spot on the interchange will be filled by Albert Vete, who has not played a first-grade game since Round 17 last year. Chris Satae and Isaiah Papali’i – who have both played, and shone, in the NRL this season – are both in the extended reserves contingent.
Vete has enjoyed a strong start to the season in the Warriors’ reserve grade side and was named in the InTrust Super Premiership Team of the Week in Round 6.
— Intrust Super Premiership 🏉 (@IntrustSuperPrm) December 1, 2017
The squad is otherwise the same as the one that went down 27-18 to Brisbane on Saturday.
After initial reports had him missing up to a month of footy, Solomone Kata was named at centre despite being helped off with an ankle injury in the latter stages of the loss to the Broncos. Kearney said Kata is “a chance” of lining up on Friday.
Solomone Kata left the field with a left ankle injury, once again worry for syndesmosis (high ankle) injury. View of knee blocked, potential for injury there too. Hope that’s not the case #NRLWarriorsBroncos pic.twitter.com/nc5XWH3vdJ
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) April 14, 2018
Solomone Kata is expected to miss up to a month with an ankle injury sustained on the weekend. Grade 1 high ankle sprains usually require 1-4 weeks recovery time
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) April 15, 2018
Meanwhile, Anthony Gelling – who had a cameo shocker after Kata left the field but was in line for his first NRL start if the nuggetty centre had been ruled out – has retained his place in the 17.
Gelling or reserves selection Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad are the contenders to come into the backline if Kata fails to take his place, with experienced centre Blake Ayshford currently sidelined with a back injury and Gerard Beale still a few weeks away from being available.
Mannering to start against the Dragons this Friday 😝 v 🐲
— Vodafone Warriors (@NZWarriors) April 17, 2018
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS v ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
8.00pm, Friday, April 20, 2018
1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)
2 DAVID FUSITU’A
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
14 JAZZ TEVAGA
15 SAM LISONE
16 ALBERT VETE
17 ANTHONY GELLING
18 CHRIS SATAE
20 MASON LINO
21 ISAIAH PAPALI’I
22 CHARNZE NICOLL-KLOKSTAD