NZ Kiwis star Shaun Johnson has hit struck another injury hurdle that will delay his 200th NRL appearance, due this weekend.
Johnson was named for his milestone in Cronulla Sharks' 'Magic Round' clash with South Sydney Rabbitohs in Brisbane, but has withdrawn from the line-up after tweaking a hamstring in training.
The former NZ Warrior half played 162 games for the Auckland-based club, before shifting across the Tasman in 2019. He has played only three games this season, after snapping his Achilles tendon last year.
Cronulla will likely promote veteram Michael Moylan off the bench to partner former Warrior Chad Townsend in the halves.
Meanwhile, Kiwis centre Ersan Marsters has moved closed to a Gold Coast Titans debut, after second-rower David Fifita copped a two-match suspension for a high tackle.
Beau Fermor will likely move from centre to the forward pack, with Marsters promoted from the interchange.
Other notable Kiwi selections for this week's NRL Magic Round include:
- After missing victory over the Warriors, Manly prop Martin Taupau will return from concussion to face Brisbane Broncos
- Kiwis forward Joseph Tapine (knee) and winger Jordan Rapana (hamstring) are both on the Canberra Raiders casualty list. Tapine's enforced absence follows wife Kirsten's social media tirade against Raiders coach Ricky Stuart for playing her husband off the bench
- Tonga powerhouse Jason Taumalolo will become the eighth player to log 200 NRL games for North Queensland Cowboys
- With frontline hookers Brandon Smith (suspended) and Harry Grant (hamstring injury) both sidelined, Kiwi second-rower Kenny Bromwich will wear the No.9 jersey for Melbourne Storm
Join us at 4pm Sunday for live updates of the NZ Warriors v Parramatta Eels NRL clash