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Giant Warriors wingers reunited

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/07/2016
Manu Vatuvei reacts to a team mate during a New Zealand Warriors NRL training session. © Getty Images Manu Vatuvei reacts to a team mate during a New Zealand Warriors NRL training session.

Manu Vatuvei and Ken Maumalo will team up on the wings for the first time since last August when the Warriors meet Manly in Saturday's NRL encounter at nib Stadium in Perth.

Vatuvei, 30, returns after being sidelined with the hamstring injury which forced him from the field early in the second half of the Warriors' 50-14 win over Newcastle last month.

Maumalo, who turns 22 on Saturday, stands 1.91m and weighs in at 105kg.

He has filled Vatuvei's regular spot on the left wing in the Warriors' last three matches against the Sydney Roosters, Cronulla and Gold Coast.

He has impressed in his first three NRL appearances of the season, making 183 metres from 19 runs against the Roosters, 197 from 25 against the Sharks and 146 from 14 against the Titans.

Vatuvei is just a couple of centimetres shorter at 1.89m and tips the scales at 109kg.

He resumes his 2016 campaign needing just one more try to become only the 11th player in the competition's history to score 150 tries.

Captain Ryan Hoffman has recovered from the virus which prevented him playing in the Warriors' 27-18 win over the Titans 10 days ago, while Albert Vete has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Vete's absence means Ben Matulino and Jacob Lillyman will start as props, with Lillyman set to back up after playing for Queensland in the final State of Origin clash against New South Wales on Wednesday.

The Warriors, coming off the bye, take an 8-8 win-loss record into Saturday's game and sit seventh on the table with 20 points while the Sea Eagles are 13th on 14 points.

In 28 matches between the two clubs, the Warriors have just eight wins with Manly winning 10 of the last 11 encounters since 2009.

Warriors: David Fusitua, Ken Maumalo, Blake Ayshford, Solomone Kata, Manu Vatuvei, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Jacob Lillyman, Ben Matulino, Bodene Thompson, Ryan Hoffman (captain), Simon Mannering. Interchange: Tuimoala Lolohea, Sam Lisone, Bunty Afoa, Charlie Gubb, James Gavet.

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