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Kata back for Warriors trip to Penrith

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/05/2017 Angelo Risso

Warriors centre Solomone Kata has been cleared for a return to NRL action in the side's trip to Penrith to take on the Panthers on Saturday. © Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images Warriors centre Solomone Kata has been cleared for a return to NRL action in the side's trip to Penrith to take on the Panthers on Saturday. Warriors centre Solomone Kata has been cleared for a return to NRL action in the side's trip to Penrith to take on the Panthers on Saturday.

The 22-year-old Tongan-born Kiwis ace made eight appearances for the Warriors in 2017 until injuring his hamstring on Anzac Day against Melbourne, forcing him to miss their last-minute win over the Roosters.

He also missed out on the opportunity to represent either the Kiwis in their loss against Australia or Tonga in their triumph over Fiji.

But with his hamstring fully healed, he will return to his favoured place at left centre, alongside left winger Ken Maumalo.

Blake Ayshford and David Fusitu'a will line up on the opposite edge, with Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad backing up from his NRL debut against the Roosters to be named on an extended Warriors bench.

Veteran Manu Vatuvei has also been named on the extended bench after debuting for Tonga in their 26-24 win.

Elsewhere, those who played in the Kiwis' limp loss to the Kangaroos return seamlessly to their club set-up, with the spine of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Shaun Johnson, Issac Luke and the departing Kieran Foran all named.

Foran, 26, confirmed on Tuesday that he'd leave the Warriors at the end of 2017 to be closer to his young children in Sydney.

James Gavet and Jacob Lillyman retain their roles as starting props, backed up by Ryan Hoffman, Bodene Thompson and Simon Mannering.

The Warriors sit in 11th on the table after nine games, two points outside the eight, while the Panthers have struggled to live up to their Premiership favourites billing and languish in second-last.

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

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