1 Mar 2017

Vatuvei to miss NRL season opener

5:49 am on 1 March 2017

The Warriors veteran wing Manu Vatuvei will miss the first game of the 2017 National Rugby League season against the Newcastle Knights at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday.

Manu Vatuvei

Manu Vatuvei Photo: Photosport

Vatuvei has been unable to return to full fitness in time since injuring his knee during a wrestling session earlier this month.

In naming his first NRL team for the Warriors, coach Stephen Kearney has named the same starting lineup that played Gold Coast in a recent trial match in Palmerston North.

Rookie stand-off Mafoa'Aeata Hingano will make his NRL debut in the halves alongside playmaker Shaun Johnson.

Fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will captain the side in his first game back in the NRL in 11 months.

The Warriors have won 10 of the last 11 contests at Mount Smart stretching back to 2006.