NRL: Warriors name unchanged lineup

Warriors head coach Brian McClennan. Photo / Getty Images
Warriors head coach Brian McClennan. Photo / Getty Images

Warriors coach Brian McClennan has resisted the temptation to rush fullback Kevin Locke into the side and has instead named an unchanged line-up for Sunday's 13th-round NRL clash against the table-topping Melbourne Storm at Mount Smart Stadium.

The same combination fielded in the 22-24 loss to Wests Tigers 11 days ago has been retained with Glen Fisiiahi chosen at fullback instead of Locke, who has had next to no football for two months after being out of action with leg and sternum injuries.

Locke was initially a chance to turn out for the Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup last weekend before later being scratched and McClennan said Locke's readiness to return to football was still being monitored.

"Glen came back into the side against the Tigers and did a good job for us. We have a lot faith in him," he said.

Micheal Luck will have a final scan on his broken hand on June 13 and is a chance to face Cronulla on June 16 or North Queensland two weeks later after the second of the Warriors' byes.

The Warriors will face a Melbourne side back in impressive form and one that beat them 32-14 on Anzac day. The Storm had their only loss of the year so far against Cronulla in the 10th round when they were beaten 12-10 but, after their bye in round 11, dismissed Brisbane 34-10 last Friday night, just 48 hours after this year's opening State of Origin clash.

"With their Queensland players backing up, the Storm were really impressive the way they put the Broncos away," McClennan said. "It's a massive challenge whenever you play against them and it's always a huge occasion for our club taking them on. It's one we look forward to and this one is no different."

McClennan said there was cause for real disappointment with the loss to the Tigers, especially the way the side had played in the second half. After leading 10-0 at halftime, the Warriors saw their lead whittled away by a Tigers side who completed 100 per cent of their sets in the second half.

The players had a few days off late last week but were back training yesterday before having their first field session of the week at Mount Albert Grammar School in Auckland today, the second time this season the club has headed out into the community to train at a secondary school.

Mount Albert Grammar has produced a number of Kiwi rugby league internationals including Fred Ah Kuoi, Sonny Bill Williams, Steve Matai, Thomas Leuluai and Sam McKendry.

Sunday's match will edge prop Ben Matulino closer to his 100-game milestone - this will be his 98th appearance having played all 28 matches last season as well as each of the side's 11 games so far this year.

Warriors: Glen Fisiiahi, Bill Tupou, Ben Henry, Konrad Hurrell, Manu Vatuvei, James Maloney, Shaun Johnson, Russell Packer, Alehana Mara, Ben Matulino, Elijah Taylor, Simon Mannering (c), Feleti Mateo. Interchange: Lewis Brown, Sam Rapira, Sione Lousi, Jacob Lillyman.

- APNZ

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