Warriors make one injury-forced change

The Warriors have opted for stability in selection, with just one injury-forced change to their squad as they look to bounce back from an opening round defeat in the NRL.

Second rower Ben Henry’s third serious knee injury of his short career means Raymond Faitala-Mariner comes into the 17 to face 2015 runners-up Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

Faitala-Mariner has been added to the bench, with Bodene Thompson promoted to Henry’s starting spot.

It means the Warriors will field last year’s first-choice back row combination of Thompson, new skipper Ryan Hoffman and lock Simon Mannering.

Thompson, who missed the Auckland Nines and the club’s two pre-season trials, was named the Warriors’ player of day for his performance over 50 minutes in the 34-26 loss to the Wests Tigers.

“Coming back from injury with no football behind him, he was outstanding,” coach Andrew McFadden said.

With pressure on the Warriors to produce a win and snap an nine-match losing streak – the club’s longest – McFadden believed persevering with the same personnel was the right thing to do.

“I think making wholesale changes would only upset even more,” he said.

“I know there is a lot of noise at the moment but internally we just have to trust what we do, and know if we have the right application we can turn that around really quickly.”

Against the Tigers, the Warriors paid for a limp start and trailed 28-4 at halftime before mounting a big fightback to close to within two points.

McFadden said it felt like the Warriors were just waiting for things to happen in the opening spell, whereas they came out with a more aggressive mindset for the second spell.

“The players, on the back half of last week’s game, will get a bit of confidence about how we should play.”

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: Nathaniel Roache, Sam Lisone, James Gavet, Raymond Faitala-Mariner.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!