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Nikorima set for Warriors debut

Nikorima set for Warriors debut
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New signing Kodi Nikorima is all set to make his New Zealand Warriors debut at his old home ground Suncorp Stadium after being named today at standoff for Saturday’s NRL Magic Round encounter with St George Illawarra in Brisbane (5.30pm kick-off local time; 7.30pm NZT).

The 25-year-old Palmerston North-born Kiwi international will become Warrior #236 just eight days after being signed from the Brisbane Broncos.

Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney has made another significant selection by bringing in Nathaniel Roache as the starting hooker with Issac Luke moved to the extended bench. In line to fill the back-up dummy half role is Karl Lawton, who is recalled after making his one appearance so far this season against Gold Coast in round four.

The club’s most experienced player Adam Blair (297 appearances) will miss the trip to Brisbane for the ninth-round fixture after an early guilty plea was entered on the dangerous throw charge he faced from Sunday’s match against Newcastle. Lachlan Burr also landed a dangerous throw charge but is free to play after he too took an early guilty plea.

Right wing David Fusitu’a is again included in the hope he will return from the rib injury which has ruled him out of the last two matches against Melbourne and Newcastle while utility Jazz Tevaga and prop Bunty Afoa are in line to return from leg injuries. Named for his second outing this season is middle forward Ligi Sao, who is named in the 17.

WARRIORS v DRAGONS

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)

2 DAVID FUSITU’A

3 PETA HIKU

4 PATRICK HERBERT

5 KEN MAUMALO

6 KODI NIKORIMA

7 BLAKE GREEN

8 AGNATIUS PAASI

9 NATHANIEL ROACHE

10 LEESON AH MAU

11 ISAIAH PAPALI’I

12 TOHU HARRIS

13 LACHLAN BURR

Interchange:

14 JAZZ TEVAGA

15 BUNTY AFOA

16 LIGI SAO

17 KARL LAWTON

18 GERARD BEALE

20 CHRIS SATAE

21 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA

23 ISSAC LUKE