Fusitua named at fullback for Warriors

David Fusitua will become the Warriors’ third different starting fullback in as many games when he lines up at Mt Smart Stadium for Sunday’s ninth-round NRL clash against St George Illawarra.

The Warriors lost first-choice fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to a season-ending injury in their 24-20 win over the Bulldogs in Wellington just over a week ago.

Replacement Tuimoala Lolohea lasted only 26 minutes of the Warriors’ 42-0 drubbing by Melbourne on Sunday before he was forced from the field with a knee injury which could see him sidelined for two weeks.

With Fusitua named at fullback, Jonathan Wright will start on the right wing.

Also ruled out is loose forward Simon Mannering, who is expected to be sidelined for one or two weeks after an ugly facial wound forced him from the field on Sunday.

A plastic surgeon in Melbourne took more than 20 stitches to reattach Mannering’s lip.

The 29-year-old will now miss a match for the first time in three years, having made 73 consecutive appearances since round eight in 2013.

Mannering will be replaced at loose forward by Charlie Gubb, who will start for the first time in his career after being used from the bench in his previous 21 appearances.

Veteran prop Jacob Lillyman is also in the run-on line-up after being used from the bench in the last two games.

Utility Jazz Tevaga and props Albert Vete and James Gavet have been recalled, while 22-year-old new signing Shaun Lane is set to make his Warriors NRL debut.

Warriors: David Fusitua, Jonathan Wright, Blake Ayshford, Solomone Kata, Manu Vatuvei, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Jacob Lillyman, Issac Luke, Ben Matulino, Bodene Thompson, Ryan Hoffman (captain), Charlie Gubb. Interchange: Jazz Tevaga, Sam Lisone, Albert Vete, Shaun Lane, James Gavet.

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