Warriors bolstered by return of Friend
Tue, 26 Jun 2012 4:46p.m.
By 3 News online staff
The Warriors are bolstered by the return of hooker Nathan Friend for Sunday's NRL clash with the North Queensland Cowboys at Mt Smart.
Friend has been out of action since playing for 70 minutes with a broken jaw, during the 30-20 Warriors win over the Broncos in May.
He has missed the last five games, in which the Warriors managed just two wins.
Also coming back into the side from injury is Glen Fisiiahi, who has been named on the left wing after being out of contention for the 19-20 loss to Cronulla with a knee injury. With veteran Manu Vatuvei out for a month with a knee injury, Vodafone Junior Warrior Omar Slaimankhel made his NRL debut as a late replacement against the Sharks.
Friend will be making his 145th career appearance, Fisiiahi just his ninth and his fifth this season.
“It’s good timing to have Nathan back from his injury,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Brian McClennan.
“We’ve certainly missed the experience he brings to the hooker’s role so he’ll really help us a lot there.
“And with Manu out for a bit after his surgery and Glen fit again, it’s a big chance for him on the wing.”
While Friend and Fisiiahi have been recalled, McClennan has also done some reshuffling among the forwards with Elijah Taylor switching back to the No 13 jersey and Lewis Brown – used at hooker against Cronulla – named as a starting second rower. A five-man bench has been listed comprising Jacob Lillyman, Micheal Luck, Sione Lousi, Feleti Mateo and Steve Rapira.
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