The Warriors believe NSW fullback Jarryd Hayne could back up and be a late addition to the Parramatta side for their NRL clash in Auckland.
The Warriors are preparing for two scenarios when they welcome Parramatta on Saturday night – Eels danger man Jarryd Hayne won’t play or he will.
Hayne is in line to be given a rest after the State of Origin series finale on Wednesday night in which NSW are seeking a 3-0 sweep.
The fullback and club co-captain hasn’t been named in the Parramatta side for the NRL match in Auckland, with Chris Sandow taking the No.1 jersey instead.
However, Warriors coach Andrew McFadden points to the situation with Brisbane after Origin II, when Maroons forwards Sam Thaiday and Matt Gillett backed up despite not originally being listed for the Broncos.
“We’re preparing for him to play,” McFadden said of Hayne.
“It’s probably similar to the Broncos. They didn’t name them but they turned up on game day, so we’ll prepare for both scenarios.”
Both sides have plenty riding on the match, with only points difference separating the seventh-placed Warriors from the ninth-placed Eels on a congested table.
As against the Broncos, the Warriors’ Queensland representative, prop Jacob Lillyman, has been named to start against the Eels.
The two sides met at Pirtek Stadium in the opening round, when Parramatta, under new coach Brad Arthur, belied their status as wooden-spoon favourites with a 36-16 victory.
Hayne was among the Eels try-scorers that day, as were wingers Semi Radradra and Vai Toutai, who both bagged a hat-trick.
McFadden, who was an assistant to then-coach Matthew Elliott that day, is expecting an improved performance from the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium.
“Their whole side caused us problems early in the season,” he said.
“I think our game has changed since then. I would suspect we’re going to have a better showing this week.”