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Walsh returns, Lodge to start in his Warriors debut

New signing Matt Lodge has been immediately called in to make his Warriors debut this Sunday with the prop named to start against the Sharks.

Matt Lodge. Source: Getty

Lodge, released by the Broncos last week, will start alongside Addin Fonua-Blake, meaning Kane Evans heads to the bench alongside fellow props Bunty Afoa and Leeson Ah Mau, as well as Ben Murdoch-Masila.

Elsewhere, young star Reece Walsh is back from his Origin injury to start at fullback while standoff Kodi Nikorima also returns from a leg injury to partner Sean O’Sullivan in the halves. Chad Townsend is sidelined after injuring his shoulder in last week’s loss.

The Warriors will also be without lock Tohu Harris who also injured his shoulder.

Rookie centre Rocco Berry is also back from a hamstring issue to start.

Lodge's inclusion will mean the Warriors have used 31 players so far this season with Tuivasa-Sheck and Ah Mau the only players who have appeared in every match so far. 

The Warriors enter this week’s round just two points shy of the eighth-placed Sharks, making the match crucial after losing six of their last seven fixtures in a mid-season slump.

Warriors: 1. Reece Walsh, 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 3. Rocco Berry, 4. Marcelo Montoya, 5. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 6. Kodi Nikorima, 7. Sean O'Sullivan, 8. Addin Fonua-Blake, 9. Wayde Egan, 10. Matt Lodge, 11. Eliesa Katoa, 12. Bayley Sironen, 13. Jazz Tevaga. 

Interchange [From]: Kane Evans, Leeson Ah Mau, Bunty Afoa, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Adam Pompey, Jack Murchie, Taniela Otukolo, Edward Kosi.