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Seasoned forwards Ben Matulino and Bodene Thompson return to the NRL fold after a challenging two weeks.

They were among six players made unavailable for selection for the Vodafone Warriors’ last outing against St George Illawarra but are now back with Thompson starting in the second row and Matulino named on the bench.

Along with Manu Vatuvei, Konrad Hurrell, Sam Lisone and Albert Vete, Matulino and Thompson lined up for the club’s Intrust Super Premiership side against Canterbury-Bankstown on May 1. All six were impressive in a 42-12 victory before they watched their team-mates put on a brave performance in beating St George Illawarra 26-10 in the NRL fixture.

Playing for the ISP team, Matulino was on the field 73 minutes making 182 metres from 18 runs and 41 tackles with one miss. Thompson was on the field the full 80 minutes, making 130 metres from 14 carries and 26 tackles with one miss.

Matulino and Thompson have performed consistently well at NRL level so far this season.

Matulino lined up in each of the first eight matches of the year. He has averaged 115 metres and 29 tackles a game and was named player of the day against both Brisbane and Newcastle.

After playing the first two matches of the season, Thompson missed the next three with injury. In his five appearances so far the specialist right edge second rower has averaged 89 metres and 45 tackles a game. While he missed the trials, he still started the season coming off the bench to produce a player of the day performance in the opening round against Wests Tigers.

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