26 Jun 2012

Friend returns on time from his broken jaw

3:59 pm on 26 June 2012

The New Zealand Warriors welcome back their experienced hooker Nathan Friend right on schedule for their 17th-round National Rugby League game against the North Queensland Cowboys at Mount Smart Stadium on Sunday.

Friend's been out of action since breaking his jaw in the 30-20 win against Brisbane in the first week of May.

Also coming back into the side from injury is Glen Fisiiahi, who has been named on the left wing for veteran Manu Vatuvei, who's out for a month with a knee injury.

Warriors head coach Brian McClennan has also reshuffed his pack with Elijah Taylor switching back to the No 13 jersey and Lewis Brown starting in the second row.

A five-man all-forwards bench has been listed with Jacob Lillyman, Micheal Luck, Sione Lousi, Feleti Mateo and Steve Rapira.

The Warriors will wear a pink strip for Sunday's clash to mark the NRL's Women in League initiative.