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Lolohea to continue stint on NRL sidelines

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 19/07/2016

Prodigious Warriors utility Tuimoala Lolohea only has to look to Shaun Johnson for proof his time will come, according to the NRL halfback.

Lolohea was benched by Warriors coach Andrew McFadden for last weekend's golden-point loss to Manly in Perth, entering the field at the start of extra time.

It was the second time in the Warriors' last three games the 21-year-old found himself on the pine, having played only 25 minutes against the Sharks in Round 16.

He will start from the bench once again against the Raiders in Canberra on Saturday.

Johnson, 25, told reporters on Wednesday he also spent the early years of his Warriors career in and out of the side, and had become a better player for it.

However he knew the experience could be unnerving.

"I can understand his disappointment and frustration for sure, he's got a different role in the team and he's just got to adapt," Johnson said.

"I was put through that cycle so I can certainly see where his head is at the moment, as a kid it can certainly rattle you."

McFadden said Lolohea remained a special talent and had no intention of releasing him to play for another NRL club.

Lolohea, who prefers to play in the halves, is likely to take on the Warriors No.6 shirt when Thomas Leuluai returns to Wigan at the end of the year.

"Nobody is guaranteed any position but certainly he's well and truly one of the frontrunners because of the talented player that he is," McFadden said.

"I haven't lost any faith in Tui, this is just a little bump in the road."

McFadden will fly to Australia a day ahead of his players to appear in front of the NRL judiciary, where prop Charlie Gubb stands accused of a grade-two shoulder charge.

The club is seeking to have the charge reduced to grade-one.

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