8 Apr 2015

Warriors in no rush to make changes

12:54 pm on 8 April 2015

The Warriors coach Andrew McFadden has named a largely unchanged squad for Saturday's National Rugby League clash with the Wests Tigers in Auckland, despite their poor showing in Monday night's loss to the Storm.

Andrew McFadden

Andrew McFadden Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The team produced their worst performance of the season in the 30-14 defeat in Melbourne, with the Auckland club's second straight loss dropping them to 11th on the NRL ladder.

However McFadden has named the same starting XIII for what will be Manu Vatuvei's 200th NRL game on Saturday at Mt Smart Stadium.

McFadden says the entire squad must improve and singled out centre Konrad Hurrell in particular as a player who can get much better.

Vatuvei is the try-scoring record holder for the Warriors.

The man nicknamed "the Beast" will become only the third player to appear in 200 games for the Warriors, joining Stacey Jones (261) and captain Simon Mannering (217).

Now in his 12th consecutive NRL campaign - another club record - the hulking wing is also on track for two other major milestones.

With his third try of the season in the loss to Melbourne, he has 138 career tries, just two short of joining Nigel Vagana on 140 tries (Vagana scored his in 240 games), the most by a New Zealander in the competition.

And he needs seven more tries this year for the unprecedented achievement of scoring 10 or more tries in 10 consecutive seasons.

"Manu's 200th game is a massive achievement, a really special moment not just for him but for the club and for everyone who supports the Warriors and the game of rugby league," McFadden said.

"Playing 200 games for one club only doesn't happen too often and what Manu has done for us and for the game can't be overstated."

"He stands for all the values we like our players to aspire to. As a player and a person he is one of best and we'd really love people to turn out in big numbers to honour and support him. He certainly deserves it."

Vatuvei will have long-time Warriors team-mates alongside him against the Tigers.

Mannering, who started his career a year after Vatuvei in 2005, plays his 218th game this week while props Ben Matulino (157 games) and Jacob Lillyman (129 games for the club) will also be there plus halfback Shaun Johnson, hookers Thomas Leuluai and Nathan Friend and centre Hurrell.

Of the line-up used in the loss to the Storm, the only move pushes Albert Vete back on to the interchange bench with Dominique Peyroux listed as 18th man.

Matulino, Leuluai, Lillyman, Ryan Hoffman, Bodene Thompson and Mannering have been named as the starting forwards for the fifth consecutive week, they've all played every match so far this season as have bench forwards Friend and Sam Lisone.

In the backline, the man of the moment Vatuvei has played every game, too, as have fullback Tuimoala Lolohea, centre Solomone Kata, standoff Chad Townsend and Johnson.

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