Blockbusting centre Konrad Hurrell’s Test hopes have taken a heavy hit after he was dropped by the Warriors for their NRL match against Gold Coast Titans.
Hurrell makes way for 20-year-old David Fusitu’a, who scored two tries for the club’s reserve team last week in his first appearance since undergoing shoulder surgery in the off-season.
The Anzac Day fixture in Auckland is a last chance for the Warriors to impress New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney before he names his team to face Australia in Brisbane next week.
Hurrell is a prospect to replace the injured Dean Whare but a mixed performance in the 28-24 loss to North Queensland on Saturday has worked against him.
Coach Andrew McFadden said the centre has been working hard on limited preparation after a knee injury.
“I feel it’s affected his performance a little. Although he’s been doing some good things, there’s some things he needs to work on. He’s aware of that,” McFadden said.
“And also, David Fusitu’a, his form in our (NSW) Cup side has been too good to ignore, so he’s well and truly earned his spot there.”
There are also two changes on the interchange bench, where back-rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner, 21, is poised to make his debut and veteran prop Sam Rapira will make his first appearance of the season.