Six players, including big names Manu Vatuvei and Ben Matulino, have been dumped from first grade by Warriors NRL coach Andrew McFadden.
McFadden has also relegated Bodene Thompson, Albert Vete, Sam Lisone and Konrad Hurrell to the NSW Cup after the Warriors’ humiliating 42-0 Anzac Day defeat by the Storm in Melbourne.
McFadden said the six had failed to meet team standards in the wake of the hammering.
“We’ve dealt with this internally after questioning the players involved and won’t be going into any details,” he said.
Sione Lousi, John Palavi and Matt Allwood have been recalled to top grade to face St George Illawarra on Sunday at Mount Smart Stadium while 21-year-old Toafofoa Sipley is in line to make his NRL debut.
McFadden has named a 17-strong squad for the match against the Dragons in Auckland but says the starting line-up and interchange won’t be revealed until a hour before kickoff.
He lost fullback Tuimoala Lolohea and back-rower Simon Mannering to injuries in the Storm defeat and the team’s performance in that match left former Kiwis coach Graham Lowe questioning their attitude.
“I think there is a poor attitude within the place,” he told NZ Newswire.
Owner Eric Watson last week backed McFadden as coach and urged patience from the fans.
The Warriors have won just three of eight matches this season and languish in 13th on the ladder.
Warriors: David Fusitua, Jonathan Wright, Blake Ayshford, Solomone Kata, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Jacob Lillyman, Issac Luke, Ryan Hoffman (capt), Charlie Gubb, Jazz Tevaga, Shaun Lane, James Gavet, Sione Lousi, Matt Allwood, John Palavi, Toafofoa Sipley.