Ngani Laumape’s pending ban for a dangerous tackle has led to a recall for Warriors NRL centre Dane Nielsen to face Penrith.
Five games after being dropped, former Queensland State of Origin representative Dane Nielsen has been recalled to first grade by the Warriors.
The 29-year-old centre will face Penrith on Sunday to replace Ngani Laumape who is facing a three-game NRL ban.
Laumape was hit with a grade-three dangerous throw charge by the match review committee after a tackle on Brisbane front-rower Josh McGuire in his side’s 19-10 win at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday.
Coach Andrew McFadden said the club considered appealing but decided it was better to accept a three-match ban for pleading guilty than face the chance of Laumape missing five games if an appeal was unsuccessful.
“He’s been in great form and certainly it’s disappointing for him, because he’s been very determined to hold that spot in the team and he’s earnt that,” McFadden told reporters on Tuesday.
“We certainly looked at contesting the grading, but we decided that the risk was too great and, when we looked at some of the similar grading charges, that was probably fair in the end.”
McFadden said Nielsen had been working hard on his game in the NSW Cup and deserved his recall for his eighth match of the campaign.
“He’s very experienced; he’s certainly in very good condition at the moment. He’s playing good footy, so I’m pretty happy that he’s been given his chance again.”
The change is the only one to the side for the round-16 match at Mt Smart Stadium from the scrappy win over the Broncos.
Warriors: Sam Tomkins, David Fusitu’a, Konrad Hurrell, Dane Nielsen, Manu Vatuvei, Chad Townsend, Shaun Johnson, Jacob Lillyman, Nathan Friend, Sam Rapira, Jayson Bukuya, Simon Mannering (capt), Sebastine Ikahihifo. Res: Feleti Mateo, Suaia Matagi, Charles Gubb, Ben Henry.