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Debutant replaces hurt Kata for Warriors

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/04/2017

Warriors utility Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad will make his NRL debut against the Roosters on Sunday after replacing the injured Solomone Kata. © Fiona Goodall/Getty Images Warriors utility Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad will make his NRL debut against the Roosters on Sunday after replacing the injured Solomone Kata. Solomone Kata's loss is Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad's gain for the Warriors, with the 21-year-old utility set to make his NRL debut in Sunday's clash with the Roosters in Auckland.

Having injured his hamstring in Tuesday's 20-14 loss to Melbourne, Kata will sit out the ninth-round match against the Roosters, who are third on the NRL ladder.

The extent of the Tongan-born Kiwi's injury remains unclear, but has forced a reshuffle from coach Stephen Kearney.

Blake Ayshford will take Kata's place in the centres after playing on the wing against the Storm, while Nicoll-Klokstad will line up on the right edge.

Of Maori, Cook Islander and Norweigan descent, the Auckland-born Nicoll-Klokstad has been a standout for the Warriors' unbeaten NSW Cup side in 2017.

He also picked up the Warriors' 2016 NSW Cup player of the year gong in his first year at the club after transferring from Melbourne's youth squad.

Elsewhere, the side takes on a similar complexion to that which fell to the high-flying Storm in the Victorian capital.

The all-Kiwi spine of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Kieran Foran, Shaun Johnson and Issac Luke remains intact, while Simon Mannering will play at lock.

Bodene Thompson and Ryan Hoffman, who will play his 50th NRL game for the club, resume their customary second-row roles.

Props James Gavet and Jacob Lillyman also retain their positions in the middle, with the departing Ben Matulino named on the bench.

Fellow prop Albert Vete and veteran Manu Vatuvei, meanwhile, have returned to the extended squad listing in place of Charlie Gubb and Mason Lino.

Out-of-favour utility Tuimoala Lolohea has again been omitted.

WARRIORS: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, David Fusitu'a, Blake Ayshford, Ken Maumalo, Kieran Foran, Shaun Johnson, James Gavet, Issac Luke, Jacob Lillyman, Bodene Thompson, Ryan Hoffman, Simon Mannering. INTERCHANGE: Nathaniel Roache, Ligi Sao, Sam Lisone, Ben Matulino, Manu Vatuvei, Albert Vete, Bunty Afoa, Mafoa'aeata Hingano.

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