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25 Feb 2018 15:07
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  •   Home > News > Sports

    Kearney gives youth a chance vs Storm

    Adam Blair, Tohu Harris and Blake Green will be spelled for the Warriors' pre-season trial against Melbourne, as the 2018 NRL season inches closer.


    Stephen Kearney
    Stephen Kearney

    Like an old Toyota sedan that never breaks down, Adam Blair won't need too much to thrive on the footy field in 2018.

    "He's the car that has plenty of miles on the clock - knows what he's doing, very safe and handy," Warriors boss Stephen Kearney says with a smile.

    "Whereas some of the others have just driven off the lot."

    Kearney has left Blair out of this weekend's pre-season trial against Melbourne in Rotorua, knowing the 43-Test Kiwi captain could rock up to the Warriors' round one clash against South Sydney and immediately produce the goods.

    Fellow recruits Tohu Harris and Blake Green have also been spelled.

    Instead, Kearney has selected a young squad to take on a heavily depleted Storm, with reserve-grade halfback Mason Lino to serve as skipper.

    A sextet of other recruits - Peta Hiku, Anthony Gelling, Agnatius Paasi, Leivaha Pulu, Matiu Love-Henry and Hayze Perham - will make their club debuts.

    "I'm pretty confident I know what I'm getting when those three (Blair, Harris and Green) in particular play - also, it gives the guys who are in and around those positions an opportunity to put their hands up," Kearney said.

    "They've worked really hard throughout pre-season and it's an opportunity for them to get out there and compete for a spot."

    While the Warriors will on Saturday be without most of their top guns, the Storm will also be understregnth due to their World Club Challenge commitments.

    They'll face Leeds Rhinos on Friday in Melbourne.

    Kearney said the Craig Bellamy-coached reigning NRL Premiers had been very upfront with the Warriors around their plans for the match.

    The Warriors would simply look to focus on their own game.

    "One thing I know about Melbourne is that, regardless of who they bring, they'll be a very well-drilled outfit and work hard and they always take a great deal of pride representing their football club," Kearney said.

    Kearney said Blair, Harris and Green, as well as Shaun Johnson and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, were more likely to play in next week's trial against the Titans.


    NZN




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