Shaun Johnson returns against Sea Eagles as Warriors look to end losing streak

The Warriors will welcome halfback Shaun Johnson into their starting side for their last home match of the season against the Manly Sea Eagles on Sunday.

The playmaker has been sidelined with a posterior cruciate ligament injury since mid-July, returning as the Warriors look to end one of the worst losing streaks in the club's history, falling to defeat in their last seven consecutive matches.

Kieran Foran has been named to partner Johnson in the halves, despite having to leave the field in the Warriors' loss to the South Sydney Rabbitohs last week.

Issac Luke also returns, as the Warriors see their all-Kiwis spine, with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck playing at fullback.

Veterans Ben Matulino and Ryan Hoffman have also been named to start, as they bid to leave the club on a positive note at the end of the season.

Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), 2. David Fusitu'a, 3. Blake Ayshford, 4. Solomone Kata, 5. Ken Maumalo, 6. Kieran Foran, 7. Shaun Johnson, 8. Ben Matulino, 9. Issac Luke, 10. Sam Lisone, 11. Bunty Afoa, 12. Ryan Hoffman, 13. Simon Mannering.

Interchange (from): 14. Ata Hingano, 15. Charlie Gubb, 16. Isaiah Papali'i, 17. Jazz Tevaga, 18. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstadd, 20. Chris Satae, 21. James Bell, 22. Mason Lino.

Shaun Johnson of the Warriors in action during the NRL Rugby League match between Canberra Raiders and Vodafone Warriors at GIO Stadium, Canberra, Australia. Saturday 15 April 2017 © Copyright Photo: Mark Metcalfe / www.Photosport.nz
Shaun Johnson of the Warriors in action. Source: Photosport


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Cancer-stricken 15-year-old escorted to school ball by NRL star Trent Hodkinson dies after brave battle

The terminally-ill girl who was escorted to her high school ball with her favourite rugby league player has died. 

Hannah Rye died over the weekend after a two-year battle with Ewing's Sarcoma - just one month after her heartwarming evening with Newcastle Knights star Trent Hodkinson.

Tributes have flowed in for the 15-year-old, with her sister Annaliese posting a message on Facebook last night.

"I will hold you in my heart until I can hold you in heaven," she wrote.

"I hold you close to my heart for the rest of my life and I live for you," a classmate wrote.

Hannah and Hodkinson went to the Kurri Kurri High School dance after meeting at a charity event, with Hannah describing the moment as "one of the most magical nights I've ever had" at the time.

Despite rigourous chemotherapy treatment to combat the rare form of cancer which causes tumours to grow around the spine, Hannah relapsed in May and was told her condition was terminal.

One of the diehard Knights fan's final wishes was to attend her school dance with her favourite player, Hodkinson, who she had previously met through his Kick for Kids programme where he would dedicate conversions to a sick child and write their name on a kicking tee.

Hodkinson immediately jumped on board to help grant her wish when he heard Hannah's cancer had returned.

"She's so brave. She's such a strong girl, you wouldn't know she was going through this," he told media at the time.


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'It can't happen overnight' - Kieran Foran defends Warriors' team culture

Warriors playmaker Kieran Foran has defended the culture within the club, as the struggling NRL side sit on the precipice of their worst ever losing streak in the NRL.

The 36-18 loss to the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday night saw the club record it's seventh straight loss, just one away from equalling their all time worst run of defeats in the club's history, with many questioning the desire of the playing squad.

Foran however, says that the culture within the club is not the problem, as he prepares to leave the Warriors to join the Bulldogs next season.

"Everyone works really hard here, everyone has the right intentions and wants success just like the fans do," Foran told Fairfax.

"Everyone has worked bloody hard to get success and sometimes it takes a bit longer than what you'd think."

Foran also urged patience from an ever disenfranchised Warriors support base, saying that the club is heading in the right direction.

"It can't happen overnight, but from what I've seen here, the culture is great."

"The boys are really close, they stick together and they continue to want to improve and take their games to another level."

"That's all you can want in a football club and I think they've got it here."

The Warriors face Manly at home next week, before travelling to Sydney to take on the Wests Tigers in the final round of the season, hoping to avoid losses that would see the current side go down in history for all the wrong reasons.

Kieran Foran warms up
Dragons v Warriors NRL rugby league match at UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah Australia. Sunday 26 March 2017. Photo: Paul Seiser / www.photosport.nz
Warriors half Kieran Foran warms up against the Dragons. Source: Photosport


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