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Vatuvei to return on wing for Warriors

25/02/2010 05:53:36 PM Comments (0)

Kiwis winger Manu Vatuvei will have his first NRL trial of the year when he lines up against Manly in Auckland on Saturday.

Vatuvei, 23, missed the club's opening trial against the Sydney Roosters on February 13 because he was playing for the NRL All Stars against the Indigenous All Stars at Gold Coast.

While he travelled with the squad to Cairns last week he was rested for the trial there against the North Queensland Cowboys.

As he prepares to start the 2010 NRL season, Vatuvei is just six games short of joining the list of players who have appeared in 100 first-grade games for the Warriors.

He also boasts the best strike rate among the club's leading try scorers with 58 tries in 94 games.

With his return to the left wing, exciting Junior Warriors winger Bill Tupou makes way but is included on an enlarged interchange bench.

Coach Ivan Cleary said Tupou, who is still eligible for the NYC this year, had made the most of his chances in the 26-8 and 28-6 victories in the first two trials.

"We've been really impressed with what Bill has done and he'll get more game time at some stage in this trial against Manly," said Cleary.

Starting in the halves against the Sea Eagles will be off-season signings Brett Seymour and James Maloney with Joel Moon, who had the first 20 minutes at five-eighth against the Cowboys, moving out into the centres with Jerome Ropati.

Warriors: Lance Hohaia, Kevin Locke, Joel Moon, Jerome Ropati, Manu Vatuvei, James Maloney, Brett Seymour, Sam Rapira, Aaron Heremaia, Russell Packer, Lewis Brown, Ben Matulino, Micheal Luck (captain). Interchange: Alehana Mara, Jeremy Latimore, Sione Lousi, Patrick Ah Van, Shaun Johnson, Jesse Royal, Jacob Lillyman, Bill Tupou.

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