Warriors prop Jacob Lillyman will make his 250th NRL appearance in Friday’s dead-rubber NRL clash with the Rabbitohs in Sydney, but will do so without regular front-row partner Ben Matulino.
Matulino has been handed a one-match ban by the NRL judiciary for a late-match shoulder charge on Canberra’s Elliot Whitehead in last week’s 36-16 home loss.
The 23-cap Kiwis enforcer made an early guilty plea and was duly slapped with a one-game ban on Tuesday, ruling him out of Friday’s game.
Sam Lisone has been named in the No.10 jumper in Matulino’s place and will partner the 33-year-old Lillyman, who joined the Warriors in 2009 after 62 games for the Cowboys and has gone on to play for the club 187 times.
Off-contract at the end of the year, the coming weeks could be the 14-time Queensland representative’s last in Auckland.
Elsewhere, the Canterbury-bound Kieran Foran returns to the starting line-up after missing Sunday’s loss to the Raiders with a shoulder issue.
He’ll partner Ata Hingano in the halves, with Mason Lino – originally chosen to replace the injured Shaun Johnson – demoted to an eight-man extended bench.
Issac Luke remains on the pine after being dropped for his recent poor form, where he’ll be joined by the returning Charlie Gubb.
Both sides’ NRL finals hopes are long gone.
WARRIORS: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), David Fusitu’a, Blake Ayshford, Solomone Kata, Ken Maumalo, Kieran Foran, Ata Hingano, Jacob Lillyman, Nathaniel Roache, Sam Lisone, Bunty Afoa, Ryan Hoffman, Simon Mannering. INTERCHANGE: Issac Luke, Chris Satae, Isaiah Papali’i, Charlie Gubb, Mason Lino, Toafofoa Sipley, James Bell, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad.