Luck and Hurrell return in reshuffled Warriors line up
Loose forward Micheal Luck and rookie centre Konrad Hurrell have both been recalled in a reshuffled Warriors side for Saturday night's 23rd-round NRL match against North Queensland at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Townsville (7.by NRL
Loose forward Micheal Luck and rookie centre Konrad Hurrell have both been recalled in a reshuffled Warriors side for Saturday night's 23rd-round NRL match against North Queensland at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Townsville (7.30pm kick-off local time).
Luck (30) has been cleared for an NRL return after playing the full 80 minutes for the Auckland Vulcans in their New South Wales Cup encounter against Wentworthville last Saturday.
It was only Luck's third match of the year and his first since two interchange appearances for the Vodafone Warriors' games against Cronulla (June 16) and North Queensland (July 1).
Satisfied his left shoulder survived the test well Luck comes onto the interchange while Hurrell is back after missing last Sunday's loss to Cronulla with a niggling foot injury which had hampered him against Manly in Perth on July 28.
Their recalls have come about through the absence of standoff James Maloney and prop Ben Matulino. Both players had appeared in all 20 matches so far this season but have been ruled out with injuries picked up against the Sharks, Maloney tipped to be out for one or two weeks with a medial ligament strain in his left knee and Matulino likely to miss three to four weeks with a slight tear in the pectoral muscle on his left side. It means Matulino may miss the rest of the regular season campaign.
"Both Lucky and the medical staff are satisfied he has come through last Saturday's match in good shape and Konrad is also good to go again," said Vodafone Warriors head coach Brian McClennan.
"Losing both Jimmy and Ben is a setback. They're obviously important players for us but that's what happens in this game and in this competition. Injuries are always a part of it and it's now up to others to make the most of the opportunity they've been given."
Maloney lasted only 16 minutes of the Cronulla contest before being replaced by debutant Carlos Tuimavave, the 20-year-old becoming Vodafone Warrior No 177 and the sixth member of the club's 2011 NYC-premiership winning squad to graduate to the NRL this year. Tuimavave has been named to start in the halves on Saturday night, joining Shaun Johnson whom he teamed up with when the Vodafone Junior Warriors won their first NYC grand final in 2010.
With Hurrell returning to the centres, Ben Henry reverts to the second row where he started in the match against Manly. Elijah Taylor moves to loose forward.
Having lost Matulino, one of the NRL's best front rowers this season, McClennan has juggled his front row options by listing Jacob Lillyman and Sione Lousi as the starting props with Russell Packer named on a five-man interchange with Sebastine Ikahihifo, Luck, Steve Rapira and Sam Lousi; Lousi also comes back into the squad after being used off the bench against Newcastle and Manly.
Not included yet is regular captain Simon Mannering, who's still recovering from an ankle sprain. It means Manu Vatuvei is named to lead the side for the third week running, his 149th career game giving him another opportunity to score the one try he needs to become the first player in history to score 100 NRL tries for the Vodafone Warriors. His 150th appearance is set to come at home against Penrith a week later.
Winger Bill Tupou plays his 50th first-grade match this week, second rower Feleti Mateo has his 49th straight game for the club since arriving last season and Packer edges closer to his landmark 100th NRL appearance with his 98th outing.
Now he's back in the side Luck, who retires at the end of the season, is in line to play his 150th game for the club in the final regular season match of the year against Canberra. He's sitting on 146 games for the Vodafone Warriors now, 222 for his career.
WARRIORS v COWBOYS
Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville
7.30pm, Saturday, August 11
1 Kevin Locke
2 Bill Tupou
3 Lewis Brown
4 Konrad Hurrell
5 Manu Vatuvei [c]
6 Carlos Tuimavave
7 Shaun Johnson
8 Sione Lousi
9 Nathan Friend
10 Jacob Lillyman
11 Feleti Mateo
12 Ben Henry
13 Elijah Taylor
14 Russell Packer
15 Sebastine Ikahihifo
16 Micheal Luck
17 Steve Rapira
20 Sam Lousi
Head Coach: Brian McClennan
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