RTS back for Warriors

He‘s still on baby watch but the Warriors will welcome back captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck for Saturday‘s top-four NRL clash with South Sydney in Auckland.

The skipper was a late scratching from last week‘s win over the Eels in Sydney as he stayed home with his fiancee Ashley Walker, who is due to give birth to their first child.

Warriors skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Photo: Photosport

Halfback Shaun Johnson is still sidelined by an ankle injury, while Tuivasa-Sheck‘s return means Peta Hiku pushes out to the centres after filling in at fullback.

Gerard Beale drops to the bench.

Other than Tuivasa-Sheck coming back into the line-up there are no other changes in personnel among the 17 players used against the Eels although there are two positional swaps.

Simon Mannering is named to start in the second row with Isaiah Papali‘i selected on the bench while James Gavet has been listed to start at prop after originally being named on the bench against Parramatta before being used in the run-on side.

Also included among the four interchange players likely to be used are props Bunty Afoa and Chris Satae plus utility Jazz Tevaga.

In only his second NRL appearance this year, Satae‘s 15 minutes last week coincided with the Warriors‘ intensive period on defence when he was required to make no fewer than 24 tackles but barely saw the ball.

The Warriors, who have remained in the top three all season so far, head into the South Sydney contest with an 8-3 win-loss run after 11 rounds, a season-opening effort bettered only once in the club‘s 24 seasons in the competition (in 2002).

While they‘re third this week, the Rabbitohs have surged into fourth spot on the back of three consecutive wins. Along with the Warriors, they‘re the only other side to beat competition leader St George Illawarra so far.

In the opening round this season the Warriors not only beat Souths 32-20 to win in Perth for the first time but also snapped a run of six losses to the Rabbitohs since 2013.

In 32 previous encounters, the Warriors have a 19-13 advantage over Souths.

WARRIORS

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)

2 DAVID FUSITU‘A

3 PETA HIKU

4 SOLOMONE KATA

5 KEN MAUMALO

6 BLAKE GREEN

7 MASON LINO

8 JAMES GAVET

9 ISSAC LUKE

10 AGNATIUS PAASI

11 SIMON MANNERING

12 TOHU HARRIS

13 ADAM BLAIR

Interchange:

14 JAZZ TEVAGA

15 CHRIS SATAE

16 BUNTY AFOA

17 ISAIAH PAPALI‘I

18 GERARD BEALE

20 KARL LAWTON

21 ALBERT VETE

22 ANTHONY GELLING