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Laumape moved inside

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Friday, April 18, 2014

AUCKLAND - Young Warriors back Ngani Laumape is under pressure to perform when he steps into his more familiar position of centre against St George Illawarra tomorrow.

Laumape has been used mainly as a winger in his 15 NRL appearances since his debut last year, but moves inside one spot after Konrad Hurrell was dropped.

Acting coach Andrew McFadden has shown in his two selections so far that he isn't averse to making changes.

In Hurrell's case, while the Tonga international's attack statistics are impressive, McFadden wants him to do more in defence.

Laumape, 20, knows the onus is on him to make the most of his chance.

"To be honest, I do feel I have to perform," he said.

"I'm stoked to have the opportunity the coaches have given me and I'm looking forward to the challenge."

For the match at Kogarah, McFadden has opted to combine the experience of Dane Nielsen and Manu Vatuvei as one centre-wing pairing.

On the right edge will be the youth of Laumape and 19-year-old David Fusitua, whose one first-grade game came in the Warriors' 31-12 defeat to the Dragons at Eden Park five weeks ago.

The two know each other well from their Junior Warriors days and Laumape said it would be a case of making sure there was plenty of communication between them on the field.

"I just know me and David have to be on our A-game," he said.

"We'll have to talk to shut down our opposites."


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