Warriors halfback Mason Lino in action in the 2017 pre-season against the Melbourne Storm.

Warriors name Johnson replacement

Mason Lino will play his first NRL match in almost two years, replacing injured halfback Shaun Johnson for the Warriors' Round 20 encounter with the North Queensland Cowboys at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville on Saturday night.

The 23-year-old will revive his NRL career against the same side he faced on debut as Warrior #202 at Mount Smart Stadium on August 22, 2015.

It was the first of three matches Lino played at the tail-end of the 2015 campaign. Since then he has been a constant in the club's Intrust Super Premiership side, leading the Warriors to the finals last season and second after 19 rounds in this year's competition.

‌Lino's selection follows confirmation yesterday that Johnson will be out for six to eight weeks after rupturing the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during last Friday night's match against Penrith. 

"It's tough losing a player of Shaun's calibre but we know Mason will do a good job for us," said Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney.

Read more about the Warriors line-up at warriors.kiwi

Warriors

1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (C)
2 David Fusitu'a
3 Blake Ayshford
4 Solomone Kata
5 Ken Maumalo
6 Kieran Foran
7 Mason Lino
8 Jacob Lillyman
9 Issac Luke
10 Ben Matulino
11 Bodene Thompson
12 Bunty Afoa
13 Simon Mannering
Interchange:
14 Mafoa'aeata Hingano
15 Sam Lisone
16 James Gavet
17 Ligi Sao
18 Jazz Tevaga
20 Chris Satae
21 Isaiah Papali'i
22 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad