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Johnson still sidelined, Fonua-Blake back

Addin Fonua-Blake NZ Warriors rugby league
Addin Fonua-Blake is back for the NZ Warriors. PHOTO: NRL

The NZ Warriors' injury issues have partially been solved with the return of some players, however others are still out for the Round 14 clash with the Cowboys in Townsville on Saturday.

Veteran halfback Shaun Johnson remains on the injured list but Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad resumes his regular role at fullback, with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak moving back to the wing, replacing Edward Kosi.


Rocco Berry, a late withdrawal for the match against the Dolphins, comes back for replacement Moala Graham-Taufa.

Prop Addin Fonua-Blake and hooker Wayde Egan reclaim their usual spots with captain

Tohu Harris back from a two-game absence at loose forward.

Named on the interchange is back rower Kurt Capewell, who was out for a month with a

calf injury, and fullback – and new father – Taine Tuaupiki is on the extended bench.

The comebacks have resulted in a major reshuffling of the starting pack.

For the match against the Dolphins, the Warriors used a front row of Marata Niukore,

Paul Roache and Bunty Afoa, Jackson Ford and Mitchell Barnett in the second row and

Dylan Walker at loose forward.

Fonua-Blake regains his spot with Niukore moving to the second row, Egan is in for the

injured Roache (ankle), regular second rower Ford is shifted to prop for Afoa and Harris

comes in for Walker with only Barnett in the same position he filled against the Dolphins.

With so many reinforcements returning, head coach Andrew Webster has been able to

pair both Walker and Jazz Tevaga to provide double-edged impact off the interchange.

The Warriors are coming off the bye while the Cowboys upset the Roosters last round.

NZ WARRIORS: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Rocco Berry, Adam Pompey, Marcelo Montoya, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Te Maire Martin; Addin Fonua-Blake, Wayde Egan, Jackson Ford, Marata Niukore, Mitch Barnett, Tohu Harris (c) Interchange: Dylan Walker, Jazz Tevaga, Tom Ale, Kurt Capewell. Reserves: Freddy Lussick, Taine Tuaupiki, Bunty Afoa, Edward Kosi, Moala Graham-Taufa


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