Blockbusting centre Konrad Hurrell will make his first appearance for the Warriors in their fourth-round clash with Newcastle after being named on the interchange bench.
Hurrell, who has been on reserve grade duty so far this season, is called onto the bench along with forward Sam Lisone for Monday’s game in Auckland.
Lisone missed last Sunday’s 21-14 loss to Melbourne Storm with a shoulder complaint, but there is no return for two veteran players.
Winger Manu Vatuvei (ribs) and hooker Issac Luke (knee) remain sidelined, meaning Jonathan Wright stays on the left wing and Jazz Tevaga will start at hooker following his encouraging debut against the Storm.
Hurrell and the club have previously been forced to scotch rumours of a relationship breakdown this season and that the player has been looking to change clubs.
He is set to play his 69th NRL game after coming onto the bench for injured utility Nathaniel Roache (ankle).
Assistant coach Justin Morgan says Hurrell’s return is form-related.
“Konrad has been playing for our second team working on making some improvements in his game and now earns his chance,” he said.
The winless Warriors, who are 15th, host a 14th-placed Newcastle side who started the season with heavy losses to Gold Coast and South Sydney before drawing 24-24 with Canberra last week.
Warriors: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Tuimoala Lolohea, Blake Ayshford, Solomone Kata, Jonathan Wright, Shaun Johnson, Jeff Robson, Jacob Lillyman, Jazz Tevaga, Ben Matulino, Bodene Thompson, Ryan Hoffman (capt), Simon Mannering. Interchange: Charlie Gubb, Sam Lisone, Konrad Hurrell, Albert Vete, James Gavet.