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Konrad Hurrell returns to face Sydney Roosters

DAVID LONG
Last updated 17:28 19/08/2014
Konrad Hurrell
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BACK IN: Konrad Hurrell should add some spark to the Warriors' attack against the Roosters.

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Konrad Hurrell will make a much needed return to the Warriors team this weekend for a season defining game against the Roosters at Mt Smart Stadium.

Last Sunday's defeat to the Knights has the club in a perilous position with little room for comfort in their bid to finish in the top eight. 

Following this weekend's clash there are games against the Titans (at home) and Panthers (away) to finish the season.

While the Titans should be easy pickings, the Warriors don't want to have to rely on beating Ivan Cleary's high flying Panthers to reach the playoffs. 

That all equates to the Warriors being in a position where they must get two points against the defending Premiers on Sunday.

Hurrell has been out with a hamstring injury for the past three rounds and was close to playing last weekend, flying over to Australia with the team. 

The powerful centre won't help much with the Warriors' defensive capabilities, which leaked 28 points against the Knights, but he will improve the attack.

Meanwhile, Ben Matulino, who play his 150th NRL game will has been named as one of the starting props after appearing last weekend in the second row.

His inclusion in the front row results in Suaia Matagi, who hasn't missed a game this season, being switched to the bench with Ben Henry is back in the second row.

Until the upset loss to the Knights, the Warriors were being talked about as a potential top four team, but that performance hinted more towards another failed season.

"It was hugely disappointing, not what we expect of ourselves," Warriors coach Andrew McFadden said.

"We didn't play well the week before against Cronulla and let ourselves down again against the Knights.

"Facing a team like the Roosters is a massive challenge with the roster they have and the form they picked up against the Tigers last week. There's no question we will need to be at the absolute top of our game to compete with them."

Warriors: Sam Tomkins, David Fuitu'a, Konrad Hurrell, Ngani Laumape, Manu Vatuvei, Chad Townsend, Shaun Johnson, Jacob Lillyman, Thomas Leuluai, Ben Matulino, Ben Henry, Simon Mannering (c), Sebastine Ikahihifo. Interchange (from) Feleti Mateo, Suaia Matagi, Sione Lousi, Nathan Friend, Jayson Bukuya, Sam Rapira, Dominique Peyroux.

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