Luke dropped as Nikorima era begins

By Te Ao - Māori News

The Warriors will head in to this weekend’s NRL Magic Round with new half Kodi Nikorima set to start on his old home ground of Suncorp Stadium. However, it’s bad news for veteran hooker Issac Luke, who has dropped out of the match-day 17 to face the St George-Illawarra Dragons.

Luke’s spot has been filled by Nathaniel Roache, while coach Stephen Kearney has once again gone for a light interchange bench. Jazz Tavaga and Karl Lawton will sit alongside Ligi Sao and the returning Bunty Afoa, who has been out with a leg injury. Wing David Fusitu’a has also been named, after missing the last two games with injury.

Adam Blair will miss the match, having been suspended for a dangerous throw in the Warriors’ 36-18 loss to the Knights on Sunday.

With Nikorima coming in, it means there is no room for first choice goal kicker Chanel Harris-Tavita. However, the next option after him would have been Luke, which means that rookie Patrick Herbert will take the shots at goal.

The first ever NRL Magic Round will see all 16 teams playing in one venue over the course of four days.

Warriors:

1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c)

2 David Fusitu’a

3 Peta Hiku

4 Patrick Herbert

5 Ken Maumalo

6 Kodi Nikorima

7 Blake Green

8 Agnatius Paasi

9 Nathaniel Roache

10 Leeson Ah Mau

11 Isaiah Papali’i

12 Tohu Harris

13 Lachlan Burr

Interchange:

14 Jazz Tevaga

15 Bunty Afoa

16 Ligi Sao

17 Karl Lawton

Reserves:

18 Gerard Beale

20 Chris Satae

21 Chanel Harris-Tavita

23 Issac Luke