NRL 4 years ago

Changes made as Johnson returns

  • Changes made as Johnson returns

The round 23 squad to face the Knights has been named and, following a punishing round 22 match against the Sharks, Cappy has been forced to make a few changes to his side.

The big news of the day is that star playmaker Shaun Johnson has been named to start in what will be his 80th first grade match. Johnson’s inclusion is good news for a team that, at times, looked devoid of attacking ideas as they battled a determined Sharks defense. Following a three game layoff, Johnson returns to partner Chad Townsend in the halves with Thomas Leuluai moving to hooker and Nathan Friend taking a spot on the bench.

Young gun Tuimoala Lolohea is out due to a hamstring injury and Dane Nielsen misses the match because of the concussion he picked up 12 minutes into last week’s second half. The injuries see David Fusitu’a (who has been battling a groin injury) return to the wing and Ben Henry start at center. Ngani Laumape retains his starting spot with Konrad Hurrell still out due to a hamstring injury he picked up against the Raiders.

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In the forwards Jayson Bukuya makes his return having missed out on a spot in the team last week. Bukuya will partner Ben Matulino in the second row with Simon Mannering playing at loose forward.

Cappy has also named an extended bench featuring Friend, Rapira, Lousi, Mateo, Ikahihifo and Peyroux.

The full squad is:

1 Sam Tomkins
2 David Fusitu'a
3 Ngani Laumape
4 Ben Henry
5 Manu Vatuvei
6 Chad Townsend
7 Shaun Johnson
8 Jacob Lillyman
9 Thomas Leuluai
10 Suaia Matagi
11 Ben Matulino
12 Jayson Bukuya
13 Simon Mannering (c)

14 Feleti Mateo
15 Sam Rapira
16 Sione Lousi
17 Nathan Friend
18 Sebastine Ikahihifo
21 Dominique Peyroux

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