Thompson back for Warriors v Cowboys

Bodene Thompson returns from injury to the bench, while fellow second-rower Sione Lousi has been included in the starting line-up for the Warriors’ NRL match against North Queensland in Auckland.

Thompson has impressed this season, but an ankle problem meant he has sat out the past three rounds, during which the Warriors’ losing streak has extended to five matches.

He will take over prop Albert Vete’s interchange spot on Saturday night, with Vete promoted to the run-on side in place of Sam Rapira, who is serving a one-match ban.

Lousi has been brought in to replace rookie Raymond Faitala-Mariner.

Rapira’s ban came after being charged with a dangerous throw on former Warrior Lewis Brown in the 24-10 defeat to Penrith and he entered an early guilty plea.

It means the former Kiwi, who will be at Super League club Huddersfield next year, will miss out on a farewell home appearance after 10 seasons with the Warriors.

Fullback Sam Tomkins also entered an early guilty plea for dangerous contact on Brown, but escaped a suspension.

Coach Andrew McFadden said Thompson and Lousi would provide much-needed experience.

“We need the experience to balance the number of young players we have in our side,” he said.

“Bodene has had a great season for us and Sione had a terrific game for the NSW Cup side at the weekend.”

Having climbed into the top four in mid-July, the Warriors have plummeted to 10th with their run of defeats and are in real danger of missing out on the playoffs for a fourth year in a row.

The Cowboys have dropped their past two matches to ease to third on the ladder.

“It doesn’t get any easier for us,” McFadden said.

“The Cowboys might have lost their last two games, but they’ve been playing fantastic football this year and, in Johnathan Thurston, they have the best player in the game today.”

Warriors: Sam Tomkins, Ken Maumalo, Dominique Peyroux, Solomone Kata, Jonathan Wright, Chad Townsend, Tuimoala Lolohea, Jacob Lillyman, Nathan Friend, Albert Vete, Sione Lousi, Ryan Hoffman, Simon Mannering (capt). Res: Konrad Hurrell, Bodene Thompson, Sam Lisone, Charlie Gubb.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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