Via Warriors Media
Training injuries have ruled wing Patrick Herbert and utility back Adam Keighran out of the Vodafone Warriors’ 15th-round match against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Sunday (2.00pm kick-off local time; 4.00pm NZT).Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Sunday (2.00pm kick-off local time; 4.00pm NZT).
Herbert, who has scored three tries in his last two outings, tore a hamstring during today’s field session while Keighran, set to make his comeback from a knee injury, is out after a heavy head clash in the team run.
Vodafone Warriors interim head coach Todd Payten has shifted Adam Pompey out of the centres to the right wing while Hayze Perham comes into the centres for just his second appearance this season and the fourth of his career.
There’s also a forced change in the starting pack with Isaiah Papali’i replacing suspended Eliesa Katoa in the second row and mid-season signing Jack Murchie being brought into the playing 17.
The cumulative effect of Herbert, Keighran and Katoa ruled out of contention sees two of the squad’s youngest players – halfback Paul Turner (20) and middle forward Tom Ale (21) – being named on the extended bench along with experienced outside back Gerard Beale and forward Josh Curran.
Herbert’s loss will be felt acutely. He has missed only two of the team’s 14 matches during the campaign, one of them when he returned home on compassionate grounds in March. He has made 163 metres, 171 metres and 116 metres in his last three games and averages 110 metres a match for the season while his tally of five tries is bettered only by Peta Hiku with six.
Keighran has been in the wings waiting to return to the side for the first time since round two when he was used in the centres against Canberra.
Perham’s only previous game this season was the loss to Penrith in the fourth round when he ran 147 metres and made 19 tackles.
Papali’i is named to start for the first time since the round seven loss to Melbourne while Murchie returns after being on the extended bench for the last five games against Cronulla Sutherland, the Sydney Roosters, Wests Tigers, Manly Warringah and Penrith.
Murchie’s comeback coincides with him launching his campaign to support the Black Dog Institute’s Mullets for Mental Health cause in September. He is going to grow a mullet along with some of his mates from his hometown Gerringong to raise funds in a show of support for mental health research.
Mental health and suicide are issues which have had a profound effect on Murchie. Read more about his campaign.