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Allwood at centre in Warriors NRL debut

Matt Allwood will make his Warriors NRL debut at centre against Brisbane in a backline shuffle to cater for the absence of Sam Tomkins.


Fullback Tomkins will miss four-six weeks with a knee injury, prompting coach Andrew McFadden to introduce Canberra signing Allwood.

Tuimoala Lolohea shifts from centre to fullback for the club’s 20th anniversary match, against the opponents they faced in their inaugural game in March, 1995.

Lolohea, 20, will have his second start in the position in four games this season.

He filled the role when Tomkins was out with a hamstring injury in the loss to Newcastle – excelling with 213m and 10 tackle breaks – and he also played the last 29 minutes in the win over Parramatta at fullback after Tomkins left the field.

Allwood will become the seventh player to make his Warriors debut this season, joining backs Solomone Kata and Jonathan Wright and forwards Ryan Hoffman, Bodene Thompson, Sam Lisone and Albert Vete.

The 22-year-old has played twice for the club’s NSW Cup side, at centre and fullback, as well as being the NRL team’s 18th man twice.

Assistant coach Tony Iro was comfortable with Lolohea’s ability at fullback despite his lack of experience.

“He was outstanding there when we played Newcastle and had more experience when Sam went off last week,” he said.

“We all know the ability he has and have real confidence in him being able to handle himself.”

Warriors: Tuimoala Lolohea, Jonathan Wright, Matthew Allwood, Solomone Kata, Manu Vatuvei, Chad Townsend, Shaun Johnson, Jacob Lillyman, Thomas Leuluai, Ben Matulino, Bodene Thompson, Ryan Hoffman, Simon Mannering (capt). Res: Nathan Friend, Ben Henry, Sam Lisone, Albert Vete, Dominique Peyroux (one to be omitted).


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