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Lolohea reclaims starting Warriors jersey

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/07/2016
Tui Lolohea © Getty Images Tui Lolohea

Warriors hotshot Tui Lolohea has been reinstated to the first 13 for his side's NRL home match against Penrith on Saturday.

The 21-year-old has started from the pine in three of his side's last four games, playing 32 minutes in last week's golden-point loss to the Raiders in Canberra.

He reclaims his position at fullback from David Fusitu'a, who moves to the centres in place of Blake Ayshford.

The exciting Lolohea, who is expected to replace the departing Thomas Leuluai at five-eighth next season, said last week that speculation linking him with a move away was false.

He said he wanted to spend the rest of his career at Mt Smart Stadium.

"I see this as my home."

In the one other change, Ben Matulino will start in the front row alongside Queensland forward Jacob Lillyman.

James Gavet drops to the bench.

Saturday's match marks the Warriors' first on New Zealand soil for four matches, following the bye and consecutive golden-point losses to Manly in Perth and the Raiders.

The Panthers came out victorious in their last encounter with the Warriors, winning 30-18 in their nominally "home" match in Christchurch.

The two sides have won eight matches apiece in their head-to-head at Mt Smart Stadium, while the Panthers have are ahead 21-15 overall, with one draw.

Warriors: Tuimoala Lolohea, Ken Maumalo, David Fusitu'a, Solomone Kata, Manu Vatuvei, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Jacob Lillyman, Issac Luke, Ben Matulino, Bunty Afoa, Ryan Hoffman (c), Simon Mannering. Reserves: Jazz Tevaga, Sam Lisone, James Gavet, Blake Ayshford.

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