Hurrell on injury stand-by for Warriors

Barnstorming centre Konrad Hurrell is a chance to return to NRL action against Melbourne after being named on an extended Warriors bench as injury cover.

The blockbusting Hurrell played in the NRL All Stars game in February, powering over for a try.

But he hasn’t been able to crack the Warriors’ losing first-grade side so far this season, with Blake Ayshford and Solomone Kata preferred.

However, injuries to Ayshford (concussion) and winger Manu Vatuvei (ribs) mean coach Andrew McFadden has added Hurrell and Jonathan Wright to the bench ahead of the clash with the Storm in Auckland on Sunday.

Both Ayshford and Vatuvei, who were injured in the 25-10 defeat to Brisbane last Friday night, have been included in the starting 13 and will have fitness tests later in the week.

Also named is prop Ben Matulino, who is contesting a shoulder charge allegation at a judiciary hearing on Wednesday night.

If Matulino loses his case, he will be suspended for four weeks.

The starting line-up against the Storm is unchanged from that named to face Brisbane.

However, as in the first-round loss to the Wests Tigers, the Warriors used James Gavet as a starting prop against the Broncos, with Matulino coming off the bench.

Frontrowers Albert Vete and Charlie Gubb, who has completed a suspension from last year, are set to make their first NRL appearances of the year, having been added to the reserves.

They come in for Sam Lisone, who has a shoulder injury, and second rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner, giving the Warriors three props on the bench.

“It’s quite a balance getting it right with the interchange now,” McFadden said of the reduction in substitutions from 10 to eight.

“But we have three back rowers who are all 80-minute players while Ben can play a lot of time as well.”

Warriors: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Tuimoala Lolohea, Blake Ayshford, Solomone Kata, Manu Vatuvei, Shaun Johnson, Jeff Robson, Jacob Lillyman, Issac Luke, Ben Matulino, Bodene Thompson, Ryan Hoffman (capt), Simon Mannering.

Interchange (from): Nathaniel Roache, Charlie Gubb, James Gavet, Albert Vete, John Palavi, Jonathan Wright, Konrad Hurrell.

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