Konrad Hurrell to start for Warriors vs Sharks
Explosive centre Konrad Hurrell is back in the Warriors' starting line-up in the only change to the team for Saturday's fifth-round NRL clash with the Cronulla Sharks in Sydney on Saturday.
Hurrell makes his first start for the year at Remondis stadium in place of Jerome Ropati who broke his jaw in Saturday's clash against the Wests Tigers in Wellington. Ropati, who underwent surgery, is expected to be sidelined for anytime up to 12 weeks.
Hurrell, 22, played mainly in the middle of the park when he made a huge impact in his first outing of the year in the 20-16 win against the Cowboys on March 22.
He was even more influential on the right edge as the Warriors surged to a 42-18 win in Wellington, their first in the capital and also the biggest winning margin in their 12 victories over the Tigers.
In 68 minutes on the field he gave the final pass for three of winger Glen Fisiiahi's four tries as well as making two line breaks, one leading to the try Shaun Johnson finished off right on halftime.
The Warriors have named an extended bench to cater for Sione Lousi who faces an NRL disciplinary hearing for a grade two dangerous throw offence after a tackle he made on Wests Tigers back rower Cory Paterson.
The club have entered a guilty plea but have disputed the grading; Lousi's case will be heard in Sydney on Thursday night.
If the appeal to have the grading reduced is unsuccessful, Sebastine Ikahihifo is set to come in for his first NRL outing of the year. He has been named on a six-man bench which also includes back rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner, who has been a regular teammate with Ikahihifo in the club's New South Wales Cup side so far this season.
Also returning to the side on the bench is back rower Feleti Mateo who was ruled out of contention with a knee injury for last week's encounter.
The Sharks are currently at the bottom of the NRL table and are winless after four rounds but Warriors' coach Matt Elliott said he took no comfort from that.
"They've had a couple of tight losses and last weekend they happened to come up against a Newcastle side which played with massive passion and intensity following Alex McKinnon's dreadful injury," Elliott said.
"We always have the greatest respect for the Sharks. They're a tough side to play at any time, especially at their place.
"You have a look at their squad and they have plenty of quality players who can hurt you.
"Our challenge is to build on what we've achieved. We'll need to be better again than we have been lately."
Of the 14 matches the two sides have played at Remondis Stadium, the Warriors have won four, the most recent a 37-10 success in 2010.