Henry, Gubb set to return to NZ Warriors side

DAVID LONG
Last updated 17:17 17/06/2014
Ben Henry
Getty Images
RETURNING: Ben Henry is back in the Warriors side for Saturday's game against the Broncos at Mt Smart Stadium.

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Ben Henry has come into the Warriors' side for Saturday's game against the Broncos at Mt Smart Stadium, replacing Ben Matulino, who had an operation last week.

Henry, the handy utility player, has been out recently because of a problem with one of his knees, but comes straight into the team for Matulino, who has had similar problems.

Also back in the side is Charlie Gubb, who'll start the game from the interchange, alongside, Feleti Mateo, Suaia Matagi and Henry.

It will be Gubb's third match of the year, after last appearing in the seventh-round encounter with St George Illawarra in April.

He had his 10th game of the season for the club's NSW Cup side in last Saturday's 16-12 win against Cronulla in Gisborne, while the previous week travelled to Perth with the NRL squad but didn't play.

Matulino is likely to be back in a couple of weeks and his absence has meant Simon Mannering has moved into the second row and Sebastine Ikahihifo starts at loose forward in his 10th consecutive appearance this season.

''It's disappointing losing Ben Matulino but a real positive having Ben Henry back at the same time. His versatility gives us options on the bench,'' McFadden said.

''There's also encouraging news about Ben Matulino. His surgery on his (right) knee went well last week and we're now expecting him back against Parramatta. With another bye to come it means he would miss only two games all up.''

Despite Warriors coach Andrew McFadden saying a few times recently that he's keen to develop Kiwis hooker Siliva Havili and give him more game time, he has been left out of the 17 altogether and will play in the reserve grade NSW Cup this weekend.

The Broncos are fifth on 18 points on the ladder coming into the contest while the Warriors are 11th on 14 points, just two points off eighth spot.

The Warriors have the potential to move into the top eight for the first time since July 2012 if they win on Saturday night and other results go their way and if that's the case it would be the best demonstration yet on how the team are improving under McFadden.

However, so badly did they play in the second half against the Rabbitohs in the last game, in Perth, that this could just as easily be the start of a slide towards another disappointing season.

NZ WARRIORS: Sam Tomkins, David Fusitu'a, Konrad Hurrell, Ngani Laumape, Manu Vatuvei, Chad Townsend, Shaun Johnson, Jacob Lillyman, Nathan Friend, Sam Rapira, Jayson Bukuya, Simon Mannering, Sebastine Ikahihifo. Interchange: Feleti Mateo, Suaia Matagi, Charlie Gubb, Ben Henry.

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