Warriors coach Stephen Kearney has resisted swinging the axe in the wake of the embarrassing defeat at Penrith last Saturday

Kearney has made just one change to his 17-man squad to face the Dragons on Friday, with Ken Maumalo replacing the injured Solomone Kata.

Kata was making his comeback from a hamstring complaint last week when he was forced from the field with another leg injury in the 69th minute.

With Kata out, David Fusitu'a switches from the wing to the centres, Ken Maumalo is back replacing Fusitu'a after playing in the Intrust Super Premiership last Saturday and Bunty Afoa, who started on the bench against Penrith, has been named to start at loose forward.

Advertisement

Simon Mannering wasn't available - he hasn't recovered from the hamstring injury which forced him out of last Saturday's loss to Penrith while Manu Vatuvei is sidelined with a calf injury he picked up in the final field session last Friday when he was set to make his return to the NRL.

Meanwhile, Ben Matulino becomes just the fourth player to make 200 appearances for the Warriors when they face St George-Illawarra at Waikato Stadium on Friday night (8.00pm kick-off).

The club's first-ever home game in Hamilton will also be a milestone occasion for second rower Bodene Thompson who plays his 50th match for the Warriors, his 135th career game.

Matulino (28) follows Stacey Jones (2005) and current team-mates Simon Mannering (2014) and Manu Vatuvei (2015) in joining the club's elite 200-game club.

A foundation NYC player in 2008, Matulino was the first graduate from the under-20 competition to play both 100 and 150 NRL games but injuries and suspension have held him up with Brisbane's Andrew McCullough and Alex Glenn edging him to the 200 mark.

Matulino has again been named on the bench as he prepares to add a significant achievement to a career which has so far seen him play a total of almost 9100 minutes, make more than 20,000 metres from almost 2300 runs (averaging 100.9 metres a game) and more than 4110 tackles (averaging 20.7 a game).

1ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)
2CHARNZE NICOLL-KLOKSTAD
3BLAKE AYSHFORD
4DAVID FUSITU'A
5KEN MAUMALO
6KIERAN FORAN
7SHAUN JOHNSON
8JAMES GAVET
9ISSAC LUKE
10JACOB LILLYMAN
11BODENE THOMPSON
12RYAN HOFFMAN
13BUNTY AFOA
Interchange:
14NATHANIEL ROACHE
15SAM LISONE
16LIGI SAO
17BEN MATULINO
18CHARLIE GUBB
20MASON LINO
21ALBERT VETE
22TUIMOALA LOLOHEA