NRL: Laumape replaces Fisiiahi for Warriors

Ngani Laumape has a chance to cement a position on the wing for the Warriors after being named as Glen Fisiiahi's replacement. Photo/Getty Images.
Ngani Laumape has a chance to cement a position on the wing for the Warriors after being named as Glen Fisiiahi's replacement. Photo/Getty Images.

Ngani Laumape has a chance to cement a position on the wing for the Warriors after being named as Glen Fisiiahi's replacement for Sunday's game against Melbourne at Mt Smart Stadium.

Fisiiahi is out for the season after tearing his right pectoral muscle in last Friday night's 24-14 win against Wests Tigers. He will have surgery soon and the recovery time will also see him miss playing for Tonga at this year's World Cup.

The game against the Storm will be Laumape's ninth since making his debut in the 28-4 round three defeat to the Sharks. The 20-year-old has scored two tries and tops the club's statistics for most average runs per game (14.2) and average metres per game (131).

"It's a shattering end to the season for Glen and we all share his disappointment,'' Warriors coach Matt Elliott said. "He has been a key player for us but we also have great confidence in Ngani who has done a terrific job for us every time he has been called on at this level.

"Through Glen's misfortune, Ngani now has the chance to put some games together.''

Elliott has retained the other 16 players used against the Tigers. Ben Matulino has been named in the starting front row as he was last week but he subsequently swapped places with Jacob Lillyman.

After selecting an extended bench in recent weeks, Elliott has stuck with four this week - Lillyman and Suaia Matagi as the propping options and interchange regulars Todd Lowrie and Dominique Peyroux.

The Warriors will go into the game as one of the form sides in the competition, having won six of their last seven. They are still in 11th but only two points separate fifth and 11th.

Melbourne, who will be fortified by returning Origin players Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Ryan Hoffman, go into the match third on the table, seven points ahead of the Warriors.

Warriors side to play Melbourne at Mt Smart on Sunday (2pm):
Kevin Locke, Ngani Laumape, Dane Nielsen, Konrad Hurrell, Manu Vatuvei, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Sam Rapira, Nathan Friend, Ben Matulino, Feleti Mateo, Simon Mannering, Elijah Taylor. Interchange: Suaia Matagi, Jacob Lillyman, Todd Lowrie, Dominique Peyroux.

- APNZ

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