Lolohea handed Johnson’s jersey

The Warriors will turn to Tuimoala Lolohea to fill the void left by the season-ending ankle injury to halfback Shaun Johnson.

Lolohea will don the No.7 jersey for Saturday’s home match against Cronulla after filling in for Johnson when the playmaker broke his left ankle in the loss to Manly.

“Tui was a natural choice in the halves. He has trained there throughout the season when Shaun and Chad have missed training sessions,” said coach Andrew McFadden.

The 21-year-old has also played at fullback, in the centres and on the wing this season.

McFadden also lost the services of second-rower Bodene Thompson in the 32-12 defeat by the Sea Eagles and his ankle injury and the continued absence of Ryan Hoffman has forced a reshuffle.

Captain Simon Mannering moves from lock into the second row alongside Ben Matulino with Sebastine Ikahihifo, after running for 159 metres and making 32 tackles for the reserve grade at the weekend.

“Simon and Ben will give us loads of experience and aggression in the second row while Seb demanded selection after his efforts with the New South Wales Cup side,” said McFadden.

Blockbusting wing Manu Vatuvei will feature on the left wing for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury on June 27 while Konrad Hurrell is back in the centres after suspension.

Ken Maumalo wins a recall for his fifth NRL appearance in place of Glen Fisiiahi while McFadden has named a six-man bench, including props Charlie Gubb and Sam Lisone.

“With Charlie and Sam coming onto the bench we gain more aggression and energy, which we have been missing lately,” McFadden said.

Warriors: Sam Tomkins, Ken Maumalo, Konrad Hurrell, Solomone Kata, Manu Vatuvei, Chad Townsend, Tuimoala Lolohea, Jacob Lillyman, Nathan Friend, Albert Vete, Ben Matulino, Simon Mannering (capt), Sebastine Ikahihifo. Interchange (from): Siliva Havili, Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Charlie Gubb, Sam Lisone, Sione Lousi, Jonathan Wright.

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