Warriors' Vatuvei targets 100th try vs Sharks
Giant winger Manu Vatuvei gets another chance to notch up a victory as skipper, with Simon Mannering still not fully recovered to play the Sharks at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday.
Mannering, who missed last weekend's 24-22 defeat to the Sea Eagles in Perth, will sit out a second game for the Warriors with an ankle injury.
Vatuvei currently sits on 99 first-grade tries for the Warriors, having scored one against the Sea Eagles last Saturday. He will become the first Warrior to notch a century of tries when he touches down next.
Along with Vatuvei's second game as captain, the first start for back rower Sebastine Ikahihifo and the inclusion of under-20s standoff Carlos Tuimavave on a five-man bench are the biggest features for Sunday.
Tuimavave travelled to Perth as cover for the match against the Sea Eagles and will join a bench, which also includes the returning Steve Rapira, who has recovered from a hamstring injury, as well as regulars Sione Lousi and Jacob Lillyman, with likely 18th man Ukuma Ta'ai.
Meanwhile, veteran loose forward Micheal Luck will return to the playing field this weekend - for the Auckland Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup rather than going back directly into the NRL.
After coming back for two matches, Luck was sidelined again with more issues with his troublesome shoulder.
He will trial it playing for the Vulcans against Wentworthville on Mount Smart Stadium No 2 on Saturday (1pm kick-off local time).
Warriors coach Brian McLennon said blockbusting centre Konrad Hurrell was also still on the injured list after injuring his ankle in their loss to the Sea Eagles.
NZ Warriors: Kevin Locke, Bill Tupou, Ben Henry, Lewis Brown, Manu Vatuvei (c), James Maloney, Shaun Johnson; Russell Packer, Nathan Friend, Ben Matulino, Feleti Mateo, Elijah Taylor, Sebastine Ikahihifo. Interchange (from): Carlos Tuimavave, Sione Lousi, Jacob Lillyman, Steve Rapira, Ukuma Ta'ai.