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One change for Warriors' Gold Coast trip

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/06/2017 Angelo Risso

The Warriors have again stuck to their tried-and-true for Saturday's NRL clash with the Titans on the Gold Coast, making just one change to the side that fell to the Eels last week.

Prop James Gavet has picked up a minor hamstring strain in training and will miss the Warriors' trip, making space for Jacob Lillyman in the run-on side.

There are otherwise no changes to a starting XIII that let two points slip through their fingers in western Sydney and currently sit 12th on the NRL ladder.

Lillyman will be joined in the front row by Ben Matulino, with Bodene Thompson and Ryan Hoffman - the latter making his 300th NRL appearance - in the back row.

The 33-year-old Hoffman becomes just the third player to join the 300-game club while wearing Warriors colours, following Ruben Wiki and Steve Price.

He'll be the 27th player in the history of the NRL to do so after 11 years with the Melbourne Storm across two stints, winning the 2012 Premiership.

The former NSW and Australia representative has made 54 appearances for the Warriors since joining the club in 2015, and was lauded by boss Stephen Kearney.

"Ryan is one of the most professional players I've been associated with," Kearney said, having both coached and played alongside him for the Storm.

"It's a fantastic achievement to reach 300 games in this competition and a tribute to his durability and resilience, especially being an 80-minute back rower.

"You know what you'll get from him every day of the week."

Elsewhere, Kieran Foran and Shaun Johnson remain in the halves, with captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck behind them at fullback.

The Warriors have previous form on the Titans, currently 11th on the ladder, with a 28-22 victory in Auckland in early April.

They have won 12 of their last 13 games against the Titans.

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

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