Vatuvei back but Hurrell out for Brisbane

NZ Newswire July 10, 2012, 4:50 pm

Winger Manu Vatuvei will make his return to the NRL from injury against Brisbane on Friday night, but the Warriors will be missing another blockbusting tryscorer in Konrad Hurrell.

Rookie centre Hurrell grabbed a hat-trick in the 32-14 victory over Gold Coast last Saturday before leaving the field in the second half with a foot problem.

He was ruled out of the squad to face the Broncos in Brisbane after a training session on Tuesday.

His place in the starting line-up has gone to Lewis Brown, who also filled in for him in the last 24 minutes against the Titans.

The 20-year-old Hurrell, a convert from rugby, has had a spectacular start to his NRL career after a season in the Toyota Cup last year.

He has scored 12 tries in 12 first-grade appearances, including 11 in his last seven matches.

Coach Brian McClennan was hopeful Hurrell would be back for the visit of Newcastle next week.

"While we've lost Kon, it's a big boost to have Manu back," McClennan said.

"He's such an important part of our team for so many reasons. He's been training terrifically and it's great having his experience out there."

Vatuvei, who is three short of 100 tries for the Warriors, last played five rounds ago in the 30-16 win over the Penrith, when he scored twice.

He was a late withdrawal against Cronulla the following week and had surgery on his left knee.

His return means rookie winger Omar Slaimankhel drops to the bench.

Warriors: Kevin Locke, Bill Tupou, Ben Henry, Lewis Brown, Manu Vatuvei, James Maloney, Shaun Johnson, Russell Packer, Nathan Friend, Ben Matulino, Feleti Mateo, Simon Mannering (capt), Elijah Taylor. Interchange: Omar Slaimankhel, Sione Lousi, Jacob Lillyman, Steve Rapira, Sebastine Ikahihifo (one to be omitted).

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