Sad news: Two NZ Warriors best players suspended for 15 games

NRL: Warriors handed injury boost as quartet named to return for clash against Dolphins

The New Zealand Warriors have been handed a huge injury boost to face the Redcliffe Dolphins at Go Media Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday, with a quartet of players named to return.

Fresh from an upset 22-20 victory over the Penrith Panthers on Sunday, coach Andrew Webster is able to call on reinforcements for Sunday’s NRL clash, before the Warriors enjoy their first bye of the season.

Significantly, forward Marata Niukore has been named on the interchange bench, after two separate foot injuries have limited him to just one appearance so far this season. That sole outing was just 25 minutes in a 20-12 victory over the Newcastle Knights in round four.

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After suffering a broken hand in the defeat to the Sydney Roosters earlier this month and being expected to miss two weeks, Rocco Berry has returned a week early, and slots back in at right centre. His return sees Ali Leiataua drop out of the matchday squad altogether, after suffering an ankle injury against the Panthers.

Freddy Lussick also returns after sitting out of the victory over the Panthers through concussion protocols, as a straight swap for Wayde Egan, who failed a head injury assessment last weekend.

Paul Roache, who deputised for Egan in-game, moves on to an extended interchange bench.

Elsewhere, Chanel Harris-Tavita has also been named on the extended bench in the No 20 jersey, after overcoming a calf injury. Coach Webster has the ability to move Harris-Tavita into the matchday 17 before game day.

Following the victory over Penrith, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad remains at five-eighth to partner Te Maire Martin in the halves, while Taine Tuaupiki completes the spine after arguably his breakthrough performance to earn victory in Brisbane.

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