NRL 2 years ago

Hoffman back for struggling Warriors

  • Hoffman back for struggling Warriors

Warriors star Ryan Hoffman will play his first game since the State of Origin series as the his side aim to keep their season alive against Penrith on Saturday night.

Hoffman makes his timely return after missing the past five matches due to a calf injury suffered in the Origin decider on July 8.

The ninth-placed Warriors have gone downhill after losing star halfback Shaun Johnson for the season, and seemingly hit rock bottom in last week's horror 36-0 defeat to St George-Illawarra in Wellington.

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Ben Matulino's three-game ban for a shoulder charge and Manu Vatuvei's shoulder injury means coach Andrew McFadden has been forced to call-up Sam Rapira and Dominique Peyroux.

Konrad Hurrell has also been added to the bench.

"Fortunately, we have Ryan back at last. We've obviously missed him, while Sam also gives us plenty of experience," McFadden said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Cronulla's top four hopes have been boosted by the return of veteran back-rower Luke Lewis from a knee injury that has kept him out for the past fortnight.

A win over Melbourne on Monday night, coupled with a South Sydney defeat to North Queensland in Townsville, would see the Sharks sneak into the top four.

Rabbitohs second-rower Kyle Turner has been named to play his first game since suffering a head knock a fortnight ago, replacing the suspended Glenn Stewart.

Premiership-winning centre Kirisome Auva'a has also been named on an extended bench in what could be his first NRL game back since his 12-month ban for domestic violence.

Cowboys co-captain Matt Scott and Sydney Roosters co-captain Mitchell Pearce are also set to return, while Brisbane's Adam Blair and Canterbury's Greg Eastwood come back from suspension.

Parramatta's Ryan Morgan comes in for star centre Will Hopoate, who has been ruled out with a hamstring problem.

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