Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney has confirmed David Fusitu'a will start on the wing in tonight's sixth-round NRL clash against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Bankwest Stadium (6.00pm kick-off local time; 8.00pm NZT).
With Fusitu'a coming back, Adam Pompey drops out of the line-up.
His return sees winger Patrick Herbert moved into right centre and Gerard Beale moving from the centres to the wing.
After the same side used in the 37-26 win over the Cowboys was originally named on Tuesday, experienced prop Agnatius Paasi has been moved onto the four-man interchange in jersey #20.
He was suspended for the match against Penrith and wasn't included against the Cowboys.
The two players to drop out of the extended squad as required 24 hours before the match were 2020 rookie forward King Vuniyayawa and halfback Chanel Harris-Tavita. Pompey and Isaiah Papali'i are the other two omitted.
Fusitu'a remained in Auckland for personal reasons when the team travelled to Australia on May 3 to go into quarantine in Tamworth.
Arriving in Australia more than a week later, Fusitu’a – who is two games short of his 100th career appearance – had to isolate in Sydney for 14 days before joining the team when it moved to its Terrigal base on the Central Coast.
His inclusion on Tuesday was the only change to the 21-man squad named. He came in for Hayze Perham, originally named in the centres for the encounter with North Queensland before making way for the returning Peta Hiku, the hat-trick hero in the 37-26 win.
Match: Rabbitohs v Warriors
Round 6 -
Fullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Latrell MitchellFullback for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Winger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Dane GagaiWinger for Warriors is number 4 Gerard Beale
Centre for Rabbitohs is number 3 Campbell GrahamCentre for Warriors is number 2 Patrick Herbert
Centre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Braidon BurnsCentre for Warriors is number 3 Peta Hiku
Winger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Alex JohnstonWinger for Warriors is number 18 David Fusitu'a
Five-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody WalkerFive-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Kodi Nikorima
Halfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Adam ReynoldsHalfback for Warriors is number 7 Blake Green
Prop for Rabbitohs is number 8 Tevita TatolaProp for Warriors is number 8 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
Hooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien CookHooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
Prop for Rabbitohs is number 10 Thomas BurgessProp for Warriors is number 10 Lachlan Burr
2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 Jaydn Su'A2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Eliesa Katoa
2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Ethan Lowe2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Tohu Harris
Lock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Cameron MurrayLock for Warriors is number 13 Adam Blair
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 14 Liam KnightInterchange for Warriors is number 14 Karl Lawton
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Patrick MagoInterchange for Warriors is number 15 Poasa Faamausili
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Tom AmoneInterchange for Warriors is number 17 Jack Murchie
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Bayley SironenInterchange for Warriors is number 20 Agnatius Paasi
- Referee: Matt Cecchin
- Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
- Touch Judge: Jon Stone
Kearney has been able to name the same pack used in the victory over the Cowboys when five of the starting forwards topped 100 metres - Tohu Harris with 193 from 17 runs, players’ player of the day Jamayne Taunoa-Brown (178 from 15), Adam Blair (157 from 16), Eliesa Katoa (146 from 15) and Lachlan Burr (107 from 11 in his first game in the revived season).
Blair and Burr both achieved milestones last week, Blair with his 50th appearance for the Vodafone Warriors and Burr the 50th of his career.
While Fusitu’a is closing in on the 100-game club, halfback Blake Green, Paasi and Hiku are all just two games away from playing their 50th match for the Vodafone Warriors.
Aside from the 40 points scored in last year’s first-round win over Canterbury-Bankstown, the Vodafone Warriors’ 37-point haul against the Cowboys was the most the club has scored in a match since the 50-14 victory over Newcastle in June 2016.
The win has lifted the Vodafone Warriors to 11th on the ladder on four points, level with the Cowboys in eighth, Wests Tigers ninth, South Sydney 10th and Brisbane 12th. Parramatta is the only team without a loss after the first five rounds.
The Vodafone Warriors have beaten South Sydney only once – in Perth in 2018 – in the last 10 meetings between the two sides.