Via Warriors Media
Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney has recalled veteran hooker Issac Luke, experienced wing David Fusitu’a and rookie centre Patrick Herbert for Saturday’s 23rd-round NRL clash against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at PointsBet Stadium (3.00pm kick-off local time; 5.00pm NZT).
Luke returns from a three-match suspension while Fusitu’a makes his comeback from a hamstring injury which has kept him out of the club’s last five matches against Cronulla, Parramatta, Canberra, Manly and the Sydney Roosters.
Herbert hasn’t played at NRL level for almost two months as he recovered from a hamstring complaint. He was out for five weeks before returning via the Canterbury Cup side in the last two rounds.
Luke and Fusitu’a will both be playing for just the 15th time this season while Herbert will be lining up for the eighth time since his debut against Melbourne on Anzac Day.
He comes in for the vastly experienced Gerard Beale, who broke the patella in his left knee in Sunday’s loss to the Roosters. Makeshift dummy half Jazz Tevaga reverts to his preferred role at loose forward and rookie Adam Pompey makes way for Fusitu’a.
With Tevaga at loose forward, Lachlan Burr replaces Ligi Sao on the interchange where he joins Bunty Afoa, Sam Lisone and Kodi Nikorima. Included on the extended bench are Pompey, Sao, Adam Keighran and Blake Ayshford.
The Vodafone Warriors have stayed in Sydney this week to prepare for the contest with the Sharks.
The match will be prop Agnatius Paasi’s 99th career appearance leaving him on track to play his 100th game in the Vodafone Warriors’ final home game of the season against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Mount Smart Stadium on Friday, August 30. Nikorima will play his 98th match this week.
The Vodafone Warriors lie 12th on the ladder on 19 points while the Sharks are eighth on 22 points after an 18-12 win over St George Illawarra.
In the 39 previous meetings between the two sides, the Vodafone Warriors have 17 wins to Cronulla’s 22, having won the most recent encounter 19-18 in Wellington last month. They’re 6-13 behind in away clashes not including the 2002 preliminary final victory at ANZ Stadium.
WARRIORS v CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
3.00pm, Saturday, August 24, 2019
PointsBet Stadium, Sydney
Referees: Gerard Sutton and Gavin Badger
1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)
2 DAVID FUSITU’A
3 PETA HIKU
4 PATRICK HERBERT
5 KEN MAUMALO
6 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA
7 BLAKE GREEN
8 AGNATIUS PAASI
9 ISSAC LUKE
10 LEESON AH MAU
11 ADAM BLAIR
12 ISAIAH PAPALI’I
13 JAZZ TEVAGA
14 LACHLAN BURR
15 SAM LISONE
16 BUNTY AFOA
17 KODI NIKORIMA
18 ADAM POMPEY
20 LIGI SAO
21 ADAM KEIGHRAN
22 BLAKE AYSHFORD
HEAD COACH | STEPHEN KEARNEY