Warriors vice captain Simon Mannering has been cleared to start against the Melbourne Storm - but Issac Luke and Charlie Gubb will be assessed in the coming days.

Coach Stephen Kearney has named an unchanged starting line up for Friday night's game at Mt Smart, with Manu Vatuvei coming onto an extended bench.

Vatuvei didn't play in any of the pre-season trials due to niggling injuries, but turned out for the Warriors reserve grade side in their comprehensive 52-24 win over the Knights reserve grade side.

His presence will put pressure on young winger Ken Maumalo, who carried for 131 metres in Sunday's 26-22 win but blotted his copybook with some errors.


Kearney confirmed that Mannering has recovered from the neck concern which saw him leave the field early in the second half against the Knights, but a final decision on Luke (rib cartilage) and Gubb (concussion) will be made later in the week.

"Simon will be fine, Charlie has to go through some concussion protocols and we'll see how Issac is at training over the next couple of days," said Kearney. "We're hopeful all three will be able to play."

The loss of Luke would be a blow, with the Warriors lacking depth in the crucial dummy half position.

Bodene Thompson has been named in the No 17 jersey after being confirmed as a late interchange inclusion against the Knights, while teenage utility Erin Clark is again listed on the bench.

Friday night's match will mark Tui Lolohea's 50th NRL match since his debut in 2014 and a club record is also a possibility for Shaun Johnson. He sits on 671 points needing just four to go past Stacey Jones' all time points-scoring mark of 674.

The match against Melbourne will be a unusual affair - the Warriors first Friday night game in more than five seasons.

The club's last Friday night home game was against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on July 15, 2011, a match they won 36-12.

The weekday slot has generally been rare for the Warriors over the years; they have had only 28 Friday night home games in their history and just eight in the last 15 years.

The clash is also of special significance for Kearney. He has had long playing careers for both sides, with 79 appearances for the Warriors from 1995-1998 followed by 139 for the Storm from 1999-2004 before serving as an assistant coach with Melbourne under Craig Bellamy.

Warriors vs Storm
Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
8.00pm, Friday, March 10


1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c)
2 Tuimoala Lolohea
3 David Fusitu'a
4 Solomone Kata
5 Ken Maumalo
6 Mafoa'aeata Hingano
7 Shaun Johnson
8 Albert Vete
9 Issac Luke
10 Charlie Gubb
11 Bunty Afoa
12 Ryan Hoffman
13 Simon Mannering


14 Erin Clark
15 Jacob Lillyman
16 Sam Lisone
17 Bodene Thompson
18 Isaiah Papali'i
20 James Gavet
21 Manu Vatuvei
22 Mason Lino