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Mateo, Friend added to Warriors' pack

Established Warriors forwards Feleti Mateo and Nathan Friend are late inclusions in the team to face Wigan in Hamilton on Wednesday, while centre Dane Nielsen has been ruled out by injury.
Mateo, Friend added to Warriors' pack
by AAP

WELLINGTON, Feb 12 AAP - Established Warriors forwards Feleti Mateo and Nathan Friend are late inclusions in the team to face Wigan in Hamilton on Wednesday, while centre Dane Nielsen has been ruled out by injury.

Mateo, who is coming back from an offseason knee injury, was being targeted for the trial against Brisbane in Dunedin next week but has recovered well enough to face the English Super League champions.

It gives the Warriors starting pack a powerful look, with Friend packing down between props Jacob Lillyman and Sam Rapira, who is captain for the day.

Mateo will start in the second row alongside Ben Matulino.

Nielsen's omission with a minor hip injury leaves the Warriors backline lacking experience as most of the backs are involved this week in preparation for the NRL Nines in Auckland.

Former Cronulla half Chad Townsend will make his club debut at standoff while veteran centre Jerome Ropati will play at fullback.

WARRIORS: Jerome Ropati, Malo Solomona, Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard, Agnatius Paasi, Jarrod Wilson, Chad Townsend, Steve Waetford, Jacob Lillyman, Nathan Friend, Sam Rapira (capt), Ben Matulino, Feleti Mateo, John Palavi. Interchange: Sam Lisone, Albert Vete, Jordan Baldwinson, Nathan Peteru, Paulos Latu, Jarrod Tua, Josh Tamasu-Russell, Mason Tonks, David Bhana, Patrick Sipley, Siliva Havili, Tevita Latu, Jono Carl, Michael Sio, Mason Lino

WIGAN: Matt Bowen, Joe Burgess, Darrell Goulding, Dan Sarginson, Josh Charnley, Sam Powell, Matt Smith, Scott Taylor, Michael McIlorum, Gil Dudson, Jack Hughes, Liam Farrell, Tony Clubb. Interchange: Dom Manfredi, Anthony Gelling, George Williams, Greg Burke, Eddie Pettybourne, Logan Tomkins, Dom Crosby, John Bateman, Ben Flower, Ryan Hampshire


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