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NRL: Brown defends changes

Warriors coach Nathan Brown says Chanel Harris-Tavita deserves to keep his place in the side that takes on the Gold Coast Titans on Saturday.

The Warriors are priced at 11/5 to beat the Titans in the round two clash and Brown has made changes to the side that lost to the Dragons in round one.

Nikorima out of the 17

Brown has made two changes to his halves for the Titans clash with Nikorima being dropped in a move that will see Harris-Tavita switch from fullback to five-eighth.

Ash Tayalor has also been brought in to replace the injured Shaun Johnson.

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It is the axing of Nikorima that has raised a few eyebrows, but Brown has been quick to explain his decision and says the return of Reece Walsh from suspension was behind the change. 

"None of the changes are due to performances," Brown told reporters. "We had a choice to make between Chanel and Kodi and just going on the weekend's performance I certainly thought Chanel was the one that deserved to stay in the team.

"With Reece coming back in Chanel was going to be playing at six or not playing so that was more Reece coming back, if Reece didn't come back Chanel would have stayed at fullback as we were quite happy with his first up hit out there.

"Then we had a choice to make. Chanel spent all pre-season training at numbers of positions, one of them being five-eighth and one of them being fullback and he's earned the right to play, we feel."

Tough call

Brown admits the call is tough on Nikorima but expects him to bounce back and play first grade again.

"We had a good honest conversation and Kodi's probably got an area or two he can help himself a little bit," Brown added. "I'm sure it's not the last we've seen of him. Next time Kodi comes in I'm sure he'll give a good account of himself."

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