Via Warriors Media
Captain Tohu Harris and fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad have both been named to line up in the One New Zealand Warriors’ Magic Round encounter with defending premier Penrith at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday (3.00pm kick-off local time; 5.00pm NZT).
The pair missed Sunday’s 0-14 loss to the Roosters, Harris with a recurrence of his niggling knee complaint which forced him off against Melbourne and Nicoll-Klokstad due to a head knock in the Storm contest.
After a two-match layoff Harris returned to face the Cowboys in round seven only to have it flare up again in Melbourne in round eight.
With Harris in the side, the One New Zealand Warriors have a 4-2 record while Nicoll-Klokstad is 4-3 in his seven outings so far this season.
Harris’ inclusion sees the starting forward pack revert to a more familiar look with Marata Niukore and Jackson Ford reunited in the second row with a front row of in-form Addin Fonua-Blake, Wayde Egan and Bunty Afoa. Josh Curran who started in the second row on Sunday moves back to the interchange while hooker Freddy Lussick is shifted to the extended bench.
The combination in the outside backs is as it was for Anzac Day with Nicoll-Klokstad behind Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Adam Pompey, just re-signed Marcelo Montoya and Edward Kosi. Viliami Vailea, in the centres on Sunday, is on the extended bench.
The match has a double layer of significance for fan favourite Montoya. Not only will he mark a two-year extension to his contract with the club but he will also bring up his milestone 100th NRL appearance, 54 of them for Canterbury Bankstown and 46 for the Warriors.
Now in his seventh season, the Fiji-born 27-year-old is in career-best form averaging almost 160 metres in his nine games this season, ahead of his previous best of 130 metres last season.
The One New Zealand Warriors head into the fourth edition of the Magic Round in the same situation as the Panthers. Both sides have lost their last two matches, Penrith with a 4-4 record to sit seventh on the ladder just ahead of the eighth-placed Warriors (5-4).