23 Mar 2011

Maloney back for Warriors

6:29 am on 23 March 2011

Stand-off James Maloney returns from a one-match suspension in the only major change to the New Zealand Warriors' line-up for their third-round National Rugby League clash against the St George Illawarra Dragons at Mount Smart Stadium on Sunday.

In their first match of the 2011 season at their home base, the Vodafone Warriors will have Maloney back at standoff replacing Isaac John, who was forced to leave the field with an ankle injury midway through the second half of Saturday night's 12-20 loss to Wests Tigers in Sydney.

Maloney missed last week's game after taking an early guilty plea on a dangerous contact charge following a tackle on Parramatta's Jarryd Hayne at Eden Park on March 12.

Other than Maloney returning for John the same players used against the Tigers have again been named with utility Elijah Taylor coming onto a five-man bench for prop Jeremy Latimore, who was 18th man for the match against the Tigers.

Sunday's game sets off a run of three consecutive matches in New Zealand for the Warriors.

The following weekend they travel to Taupo for their 'away' fixture against Cronulla on Sunday, April 3rd before preparing for their fifth-round encounter with 2010 beaten grand finalists the Sydney Roosters in Auckland on Saturday, April 9th.