NRL UPDATE: Matagi confirmed on bench

Suaia Matagi has been confirmed as the Vodafone Warriors fourth prop for tonights 19th-round NRL clash against Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval (7.35pm kick-off local time; 9.35pm NZT). Photo: Photosport


With Russell Packer and Charlie Gubb ruled out, head coach Matthew Elliott has recalled the 25-year-old Matagi for his fourth NRL appearance.


A swap has been made in the starting front row with Queensland 18th man Jacob Lillyman running on with Sam Rapira to open hostilities, as the pair did last time out when the Vodafone Warriors took on South Sydney in Perth.


The rest of the starting combination is as selected with Manu Vatuvei confirmed to fill his wingers spot after missing the South Sydney contest.


The final bench is Ben Matulino, Todd Lowrie, Dominique Peyroux and Matagi. Sam Lousi is the 18th man.


In four clashes against Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval, the Vodafone Warriors one success was in 2008 when they triumphed 28-26 the day Ruben Wiki made his 300th NRL appearance. They lost 22-24 last year.


Going into the match, halfback Shaun Johnson has kicked his last 17 goals on end and needs only three points to bring up 100 for the season.


Second rower Feleti Mateo will make his 69th consecutive appearance since joining the club in 2011 while Johnson, Thomas Leuluai and Ben Matulino will join Mateo in maintaining a record of playing in every game so far this season.


VODAFONE WARRIORS v WESTS TIGERS


Leichhardt Stadium, Sydney

7.35pm, Friday, July 19

Referees: Gavin Badger and Luke Phillips



VODAFONE WARRIORS


1KEVIN LOCKE

2GLEN FISIIAHI

3DANE NIELSEN

4KONRAD HURRELL

5MANU VATUVEI

6THOMAS LEULUAI

7SHAUN JOHNSON

8SAM RAPIRA

9NATHAN FRIEND

15JACOB LILLYMAN

11FELETI MATEO

12SIMON MANNERING (c)

13ELIJAH TAYLOR

Interchange:

10BEN MATULINO

16TODD LOWRIE

17DOMINIQUE PEYROUX

21SUAIA MATAGI


HEAD COACH: MATTHEW ELLIOTT