Tui Lolohea sought a meeting with Warriors coach Andrew McFadden last Monday to discuss his future at the club.

The Herald understands that Lolohea has no desire to play anywhere else but Mt Smart, but wanted to be reassured of his place in McFadden's plans after the mixed messages of the last few weeks.

The 21-year-old, who has again been named on the bench for Saturday's clash with Canberra, wasn't used until the 81st minute in the 15-14 golden point loss to the Sea Eagles last Saturday.

That decision in Perth was surprising, although the close scoreline and awful conditions probably influenced McFadden's thinking. What was harder to understand was the round-16 scenario against the Sharks, when journeyman Jonathan Wright was preferred ahead of Lolohea.


Lolohea got on for the last 25 minutes of the match at Shark Park - after Wright had made several key errors - then played the full 80 minutes in the win over the Titans (scoring a try) before making way for Manu Vatuvei last Saturday.

Lolohea reportedly received three text messages from three different clubs during Saturday night's match, and by the end of the weekend had five clubs offering him a starting spot.

McFadden has assured Lolohea he has faith in his ability, and reiterated that stance publicly today, saying he's a key part of the club's plans, especially with the impending departure of Thomas Leuluai.

"I haven't lost any faith in Tui and there is nothing untoward here," McFadden told Radio Sport. "We are very committed to Tui and he has a long future at the club."

Reflecting on the Perth match, McFadden said the withholding of Lolohea was an extremely tough decision.

"I understand the criticism around it. We thought long and hard. We had a plan to get him on but in the conditions we decided to go the way we went. We decided we didn't want to replace anyone in the backline [and it was] best to keep the same team out there."

McFadden said even in hindsight, he would not have changed his call.

"Probably I would make the same decision," said McFadden. "At the time, that is what my gut told me. [But] it was a difficult one and it's not like I want to do that to people."

Lolohea is caught in a difficult position. David Fusitua has taken the No 1 fullback spot in the team and Lolohea is not ideally suited to wing, although he did well on the flank at times last year. Outside of the halves, his best position is probably centre, but Blake Ayshford and Solomone Kata have been virtual ever-presents this season.

Jacob Lillyman is the only change to the 17 for the Canberra clash, with the returning Queensland prop coming in for Charlie Gubb, who flies to Sydney today to contest a grade two shoulder charge at the judiciary.

Bunty Afoa, who caught the eye with two tries in his first NRL start, retains his spot in the second row with utility Jazz Tevaga retained on the interchange bench. Prop Albert Vete (hamstring) wasn't considered but Bodene Thompson, who was a late withdrawal last week with an ankle injury, is an outside chance to make the trip to Canberra.

1 David Fusitu'a
2 Ken Maumalo
3 Blake Ayshford
4 Solomone Kata
5 Manu Vatuvei
6 Thomas Leuluai
7 Shaun Johnson
8 Jacob Lillyman
9 Issac Luke
10 James Gavet
11 Bunty Afoa
12 Ryan Hoffman (c)
13 Simon Mannering

14 Tuimoala Lolohea
15 Sam Lisone
16 Ben Matulino
17 Jazz Tevaga