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Key players could return for Warriors clash

Both the New Zealand Warriors and Wests Tigers could be boosted by the return of several big names when they meet this Saturday night at Mount Smart Stadium.

The second trip over to Auckland for Wests Tigers this year after beating the Melbourne Storm in the NRL's doubleheader back in Round 5, Ivan Cleary's side are set to welcome back co-captain Elijah Taylor after the inspirational forward was a late withdrawal from the Round 8 defeat with concussion.

Taylor has featured in just three games for the club this season, with his potential return to the squad an important one with co-captains Russell Packer (knee) and Josh Reynolds (shoulder) still sidelined.

Promising prop Alex Twal could also come in to calculations for Cleary after missing last week's game, while Malakai Watene-Zelezniak remains eligible for selection after featuring as 18th man in Round 8.

Off the back of a long turnaround following their ANZAC Day defeat to the Storm, the Warriors are set to welcome back star playmaker Shaun Johnson from a groin injury that has kept him out the last two weeks.

Tohu Harris is also set to return after missing last week with concussion, while centre Solomone Kata could also be eligible for selection following an ankle injury sustained in the Round 6 loss to Brisbane.

The Warriors are set to be without the in-form Isaac Luke, however, with the experienced hooker going off early in the loss to Melbourne with an ankle injury that may keep him sidelined for up to four weeks.

Centre Gerard Beale isn't expected to be right just yet as he nears a return from his broken leg in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, while forward Leivaha Pulu is also out for an extended period of time.

The Warriors will name their 21-man squad at 3:00pm AEST on Tuesday afternoon, with Wests Tigers naming theirs an hour later at 4:00pm AEST. Squads will then be cut to 19 players the day before the game (5:30pm AEST, Friday) with final team lists confirmed one hour before kickoff (4:30pm AEST, Saturday).

All injury news and return dates as per

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