Tohu Harris is named to start and fellow back rower Leivaha Pulu is on the extended bench for the Vodafone Warriors’ 20th-round NRL encounter with the Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium in Robina on Sunday (2.00pm kick-off local time; 4.00pm NZT).
The 26-year-old comes back four weeks after picking up a knee injury in the final minute of the 16th-round clash against Cronulla on June 29.
Harris is set to return on schedule after having surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee.
Pulu (28) is listed in jersey #21 on the extended eight-man bench.
He appeared in each of the Vodafone Warriors’ season-opening five wins before being forced off the field with a midfoot foot injury 23 minutes into the sixth-round contest with the Brisbane Broncos on April 14.
He was side-lined for 14 weeks recovering from the injury before coming back a week earlier than targeted via the club’s Intrust Super Premiership side last Sunday. In his 60 minutes against his former side Wyong he made 76 metres from 10 runs and effected 26 tackles without a miss.
With Harris slotting into his regular spot on the right edge, Simon Mannering switches to loose forward replacing Adam Blair, who will miss the Gold Coast game after taking an early guilty plea for a late contact charge on Melbourne’s Kenny Bromwich last Sunday.
As well as Harris, experienced standoff Blake Green and prop Sam Lisone are named in the 17.
Green missed the clash against the Storm after playing in each of the first 18 matches of the campaign. His absence last week means no player has appeared in each of the club’s games this season.
Lisone has been called up for just his 10th appearance of the season after last being used in the NRL side against the Sydney Roosters on May 12. He has earned a recall after an impressive performance against Wyong when, in 43 minutes on the field, he gained 144 metres from 16 runs (including 47 post-contact metres) and made 24 tackles.
This week sees hooker Issac Luke edge within one game of his 250th career appearance, leaving him in line for his 250th a week later against St George Illawarra in Wollongong. Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck plays his 47th game for the Vodafone Warriors while, in his last season, Mannering clocks up his 295th NRL match.
The Vodafone Warriors, one of three teams on 24 points, sit eighth on the table with six games remaining in the regular season. They’re two behind the Roosters (fourth) and Cronulla (fifth).
The Vodafone Warriors have won 16 of their 23 encounters with the Titans, giving them a 69.56% winning strike rate, by far their best against all current opponents. They’ve won 14 of the last 15 meetings.
VODAFONE WARRIORS v GOLD COAST TITANS
2.00pm, Sunday, July 29, 2018
Cbus Super Stadium, Robina
1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)
2 DAVID FUSITU’A
3 GERARD BEALE
4 SOLOMONE KATA
5 KEN MAUMALO
6 BLAKE GREEN
7 SHAUN JOHNSON
8 JAMES GAVET
9 ISSAC LUKE
10 AGNATIUS PAASI
11 ISAIAH PAPALI’I
12 TOHU HARRIS
13 SIMON MANNERING
14 JAZZ TEVAGA
15 SAM LISONE
16 JOSEPH VUNA
17 BUNTY AFOA
18 PETA HIKU
20 KARL LAWTON
21 LEIVAHA PULU
22 MASON LINO
HEAD COACH | STEPHEN KEARNEY