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Vatuvei Back For 100th But Seymour To Miss Clash Against Dragons

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Fuseworks Media
Vatuvei Back For 100th But Seymour To Miss Clash Against Dragons

Micheal Luck and James Maloney return from injury along with Manu Vatuvei to help the giant winger mark his 100th NRL match when the Vodafone Warriors face the competition-leading St George Illawarra Dragons in Sunday's 13th-round encounter at Mount Smart Stadium.

While that trio of first-choice players will be back, frontline halfback Brett Seymour, only three games into a comeback from a broken thumb, now faces four weeks on the sideline after scans this week revealed he has a small fracture at the top of the fibula in his left leg.

Maloney takes Seymour's spot at halfback while Isaac John will make his first NRL appearance of the year, lining up at standoff. John, who played three NRL games last year, has recently returned from a long-term foot injury, featuring for the Auckland Vulcans in their New South Wales Cup wins against Shellharbour and Central Coast in the last two weeks.

While Seymour left the field with a leg injury early in the second half of Friday night's loss to the Tigers, it was initially thought he would be clear to play this weekend.

However, Vodafone Warriors doctor John Mayhew said scans have revealed Seymour has a small fracture at the top his left fibula.

"It's not of a serious nature. It should heal in an uncomplicated way and won't require surgery," he said. "After further assessment from an orthopaedic surgeon today we would expect Brett to be ready to play again in four weeks."

After this week's clash against the Dragons and an away match against Newcastle in the 14th round, the Vodafone Warriors then have their second bye, meaning Seymour might miss only two matches.

"Everyone knows we've had more than our share of injuries and this is another little setback for Buster (Seymour) who was only just back after missing seven games with his broken thumb," said Vodafone Warriors coach Ivan Cleary.

"At least it's not serious injury and, while we lose Buster, we're helped by welcoming back some serious experience in the shape of Manu and Lucky as well as having Jimmy back from injury.

"That certainly helps having faced the Tigers with seven players who had played less than 30 NRL games and an eighth who isn't far above the 30 mark."

In his five games this year Vatuvei has scored six tries but has missed the last two matches against South Sydney and Wests Tigers with a leg injury.

"As usual it's an enormous plus to have Manu in the side. The fact this match coincides with his 100th in the NRL adds to the day. He really has become one of the game's elite players and it's great to see him reach this mark in front of his home crowd after what he has been through," said Cleary.

In 99 matches, Vatuvei has scored 64 tries, second only to Stacey Jones (77) on the club's list of try scorers.

VODAFONE WARRIORS v ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS

Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

2.00pm, Sunday, June 6

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