Hurrell back in harness for Vodafone Warriors
Tuesday 17 July 2012 1:37 PM
First-year NRL star Konrad Hurrell is back in the line-up for the Vodafone Warriors’ 20th-round NRL match against the Newcastle Knights at Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday night (kick-off 7.30pm local time).
Hurrell (20), who has just signed a contract extension to the end of the 2015 NRL season, missed last Friday night’s 8-10 loss to Brisbane with a foot injury but has been named to make his return against the Wayne Bennett-coach Knights.
With 12 tries in 12 matches so far this season, he takes up his spot at right centre once again with his stand-in Lewis Brown included on a five-man bench.
The rest of the starting line-up is the same as the one used against the Broncos while Brown joins Sione Lousi, Jacob Lillyman, Steve Rapira and Omar Slaimankhel on the bench.
“We’re naturally please to have Konnie available again and it’ll be great for him to play in front of our home crowd just a few days after being signed up on a new contract,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Brian McClennan.
“While it’s good to have him back our focus is one the need to keep improving. We’ve done well for long period in a lot of games lately but dropping the two points against the Broncos last week was really tough to take.”
With seven matches to play, the Vodafone Warriors sit two points out of eighth place on 20 points but only six points covers eight teams ranked from third to 10th.
A feature of Saturday’s night game day programme sponsored by TNT will be the launching of the Dream Chaser Foundation – A Chace Topperwien Charity named after the three-year-old Whakatane boy who died last month from a rare form of leukaemia.
The Vodafone Warriors have been running an auction on trademe.co.nz to raise funds for the charity. To see the lots click on the link: http://www.trademe.co.nz/Members/Listings.aspx?member=4278262
TNT has pledged cash for points in support of the foundation when both the Vodafone Junior Warriors and the Vodafone Warriors play the Knights. TNT will donate $100 for every try, $50 for every goal and $25 for every field goal scored by the club’s two teams (the NYC match kicks off at 5.15pm).
There’ll also be a gold coin collection at the ground when the gates open at 4.45pm.
Owners Eric Watson and Owen Glenn, who have returned to New Zealand this week, will be among the crowd on Saturday night.
VODAFONE WARRIORS v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
7.30pm, Saturday, July 21
1 KEVIN LOCKE
2 BILL TUPOU
3 BEN HENRY
4 KONRAD HURRELL
5 MANU VATUVEI
6 JAMES MALONEY
7 SHAUN JOHNSON
8 RUSSELL PACKER
9 NATHAN FRIEND
10 BEN MATULINO
11 FELETI MATEO
12 SIMON MANNERING (c)
13 ELIJAH TAYLOR
14 LEWIS BROWN
15 SIONE LOUSI
16 JACOB LILLYMAN
17 STEVE RAPIRA
18 OMAR SLAIMANKHEL
HEAD COACH: BRIAN McCLENNAN