NRL Rd 1 - Warriors v Dragons
SUNSHINE COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 12: Shaun Johnson of the Warriors kicks the ball during the warm-up before during the round one NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Sunshine Coast Stadium, on March 12, 2022, in Sunshine Coast, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The New Zealand Warriors have confirmed three injuries to come out of their opening round loss to the St George Illawarra Dragons, adding insult to injury.

The Warriors, who hosted their Round 1 clash on the Sunshine Coast, but will be based out of Redcliffe for most of the season, and potentially all of it pending New Zealand border rules and quarantine requirements to international visitors, have lost Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Viliami Vailea and Shaun Johnson, with all expected to be out for between four and six weeks.

Watene-Zelezniak confirmed his injury via an Instagram post on Sunday evening, stating he broke his thumb early in the clash against the Dragons before playing out the match, going onto score a try.

It's tipped he will be out for up to six weeks as he rehabilitates the injury.

Vailea, who was only in his third NRL match and was one of the surprise selections for Round 1 given the Warriors left out Adam Pompey and Jesse Arthars among others, has suffered an MCL injury.

He suffered the injury during the first half, but like winger Watene-Zelezniak, managed to play out the game. A club statement suggests he will miss four weeks.

Johnson, on the other hand, seemed to go through the game against the Dragons without a problem, having a hand in all three tries as he returned to the club he started his career at.

A club statement however said scans have revealed he has a minor pectoral strain, which will leave him sidelined for four weeks.

Jesse Arthars and Pompey are the most likely options to come into the outside backs for the Warriors, while Chanel Harris-Tavita or Ashley Taylor will partner Kodi Nikorima in the halves.

The Warriors team for their Round 2 clash with the Gold Coast Titans away from home on Saturday afternoon will be named at 4pm (AEDT) on Tuesday.