Mannering a late withdrawal for Warriors
Captain Simon Mannering has withdrawn from the Vodafone Warriors’ 10th-round NRL clash against North Queensland at Mount Smart Stadium tomorrow night.<br><br>Mannering was originally named on Tuesday to make his return from a hamstring injury that has sidelined him since the Vodafone Warriors’ third-round game against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on March 28.<br><br>“He has trained well throughout the week but Simon doesn’t feel he’s quite ready,” said head coach Ivan Cleary. <br><br>“He’s not completely confident so we’re taking a cautious approach this week but he’ll be a definite starter against South Sydney next weekend.”<br><br>Lewis Brown comes back into the line-up to take Mannering’s place in the second row while loose forward Micheal Luck, who re-signed with the club for a further two years this week, will captain the side.<br><br>While Mannering is out, winger Manu Vatuvei and halfback Brett Seymour are confirmed to return from their injuries.<br><br>Vatuvei was sidelined after his hamstring injury flared up again early in the second half of the Vodafone Warriors’ fifth round victory over the Bulldogs. In his only appearances so far this season – two full games and two half games – Vatuvei has scored six tries and was involved in each of the club’s three wins so far. Despite playing only 240 minutes of a possible 640 this season, Vatuvei still ranks among the NRL’s top 10 try scorers and line breakers for the season to date.<br><br>Seymour, the Vodafone Warriors’ major off-season signing, has been out of action with a broken thumb since his club debut against Gold Coast in the opening round of the season.<br><br>Tomorrow night’s match will mark the start of an NRL career for 22-year-old prop Upu Poching.<br><br>A foundation player for the Vodafone Junior Warriors in the NYC’s first year in 2008, the Mangere East product was troubled by injury last year. However, he has impressed for the Auckland Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup, earning a call-up as the Vodafone Warriors’ 161st NRL player and the third NYC graduate to debut this season.<br><br>Poching has been named to team up with Kiwi prop Sam Rapira in the starting front row while there’s also another change in the back row where Ukuma Ta’ai replaces Ben Matulino, who moves to the bench.<br><br>With Seymour back at halfback, James Maloney replaces Joel Moon at standoff and Kevin Locke comes in on the right wing for Patrick Ah Van, who has joined the casualty list with a broken jaw. Ah Van copped the injury early in the second half of the May 1 loss to Canberra and is expected to be out of action for four weeks. <br><br>Tomorrow night’s match will produce a milestone moment for centre Brent Tate who will make his 150th NRL appearance. Tate’s try against Canberra was the 50th of his career.