A groin injury has ruled playmaker Shaun Johnson out of the Warriors' clash with the competition-leading Sea Eagles at Mt Smart Stadium today.
Johnson pulled up with the injury in the team's final training run yesterday and will be missing from the Warriors' lineup for the first time since the end of 2012.
His injury means that first grade debutant, 19-year-old Tuimoala Lolohea, has been named to start on the bench and Thomas Leuluai, himself having just recovered from a groin injury, will start in Johnson's place in the starting line up.
Lolohea, who has spent most of the year playing for the club's New South Wales Cup side, appeared for the Warriors at the Auckland Nines at Eden Park in February and was on the cusp of stepping up to the NRL earlier in the campaign.
The Warriors will also be without forward Feleti Mateo who has a calf injury suffered at training earlier in the week. Mateo has been replaced by Sam Rapira on the interchange bench.
The Warriors have slipped a place to eighth on the table after a roller-coaster run of results so far this round.
Three of the top five sides have been beaten with the Panthers losing to the Sharks 16-18, the Bulldogs falling 12-20 to the Cowboys and the Roosters being defeated 12-16 by the Knights on Friday night.
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