Experienced hooker Nathan Friend returns to bolster the Warriors for their crucial clash against the Cowboys at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday.
Friend, out of action since breaking his jaw in the 30-20 win against Brisbane in the early May, provides a huge boost for a squad which has endured a steady stream of injuries throughout the campaign so far.
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 the Sharks with a knee injury.
With veteran Manu Vatuvei out for a month with a knee injury, under-20s star Omar Slaimankhel made his NRL debut as a late replacement against the Sharks.
''It's good timing to have Nathan back from his injury,'' coach Brian McClennan said.
''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 the Sharks, 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.
The Warriors will be outfitted in a new pink-toned strip for the match to honour NRL's Women in League round.
With fifth-placed North Queensland sitting on 20 points the Warriors (16) have a big opportunity to make inroads on a day which will also be of special significance for Ben Matulino and Micheal Luck.
Matulino will be playing at home for the first time since making his 100th NRL appearance in the club's last outing against Cronulla.
Luck made his comeback against Cronulla, his first game in almost nine months since the 2011 NRL grand final.
On Sunday he'll play at home for the first time in 10 months having last appeared at Mount Smart Stadium in the last regular game of the 2011 campaign last September, which also happened to be against his old North Queensland club.
WARRIORS: Kevin Locke, Bill Tupou, Ben Henry, Konrad Hurrell, Glen Fisiiahi, James Maloney, Shaun Johnson; Russell Packer, Nathan Friend, Ben Matulino, Lewis Brown, Simon Mannering (c), Elijah Taylor. Interchange (from): Jacob Lillyman, Micheal Luck, Sione Lousi, Feleti Mateo, Steve Rapira.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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