NRL Rd 24 - Warriors v Raiders
MACKAY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 27: Reece Walsh of the Warriors looks on before the start of the round 24 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canberra Raiders at BB Print Stadium, on August 27, 2021, in Mackay, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

New Zealand Warriors' coach Nathan Brown has revealed that Chanel Harris-Tavita is being earmarked as a potential replacement at fullback during the opening two rounds of the season.

The Warriors, who kick their season off with matches against the St George Illawarra Dragons on the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast Titans away from home, will be without the suspended Walsh for the those contests.

Analysis of the Warriors' best 17 shows that it would take either Dallin Watene-Zelezniak or Rocco Berry to move away from the wing or centre respectively to fill the position of Walsh.

The Warriors sprung a surprise an hour out from kick-off against the Melbourne Storm in their first pre-season trial however, pushing Walsh back to the bench with Harris-Tavita to start at the back.

NRL Rd 1 - Warriors v Titans
GOSFORD, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 13: Chanel Harris-Tavita of the Warriors during the round one NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Gold Coast Titans at Central Coast Stadium, on March 13, 2021, in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

Speaking to Fox League before the contest, Brown said Harris-Tavita is under consideration to take the spot at the back for the opening two weeks, with the Warriors having four halves at their disposal following the signature of Shaun Johnson.

Harris-Tavita was originally thought to be fighting for a spot in the halves for Round 1 alongside Kodi Nikorima and Ashley Taylor, who have been named to start today. Brown confirmed no one was favoured for the spot yet, with the two trials to play a big part.

"With Reece being suspended early in the year, we are going to have a bit of a shot at Chanel at fullback in the trials and see how that works out, so that will take care of one of them," Brown said.

"It's an interesting thing (selecting the halves). We don't have anyone favoured over anyone else.

"We will see how the form goes in the trials and to be honest with you, we are very confident Shaun will bring a lot to the table, so probably the one that gets his defence right, his kicking game right, will be the one we want to lean towards I'd imagine.

"Today and next week will tell a tale if Chanel can enjoy playing fullback and holds his gloves up there."

Brown also opened up on Ashley Taylor, revealing he "didn't enjoy his footy" for the last few years.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 24: Ashley Taylor of the Titans kicks the ball in the warm up during the round 11 NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Gold Coast Titans at Lottoland on May 24, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

"From what I understand, he didn't enjoy the last few years of his footy career," Brown said.

"I don't think he enjoyed being on the amount of money he was and being the face of the club.

"He is one of those young boys that enjoys the game of footy so first and foremost I suppose was seeing him at training happy, something that probably hasn't happened for Ash for a while.

"As a player, he is looking forward to not reading how much money he is on."

The Warriors will have a second trial next week against the Gold Coast Titans before they kick their season off in Round 1 against the Dragons.