New Zealand Warriors Media Opportunity
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 04: Warriors Head Coach Nathan Brown during a New Zealand Warriors NRL media opportunity at Mount Smart Stadium on December 04, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The Warriors are set to look in-house for a starting hooker instead of opting for the open market as coach Nathan Brown battles with a depleted crop of dummy halves.

A near season-ending Achilles injury to Karl Lawton and an elbow complaint to Wayde Egan is set to leave Brown without a traditional rake for the Warriors’ Round 1 clash against the Titans.

Egan sustained the injury against Gold Coast last weekend in the club’s trial match and despite avoiding serious damage, will miss the Warriors’ season opener.

Loading

Lock Jazz Tevaga and recruit Bayley Sironen firm as Brown’s current options for the No.9 jumper, with the pair having a run at dummy half in Saturday’s 12-all draw.

Tevaga is tipped to be leading the selection race for the starting hooker role, with Brown complementing both players for their efforts in rotating through as playmakers on the weekend.

“Both those guys did a very solid job but that had a bit of an impact on our attack,” Brown told the club website.

“Stil we showed plenty of steel at times but on the downside we made far too many errors. It was a reasonable hit-out and the speed was good… the game has definitely quickened up further which is what everyone wants to see.”

According to Stuff.co.nz’s David Long, the Auckland-based club will continue to look internally for a viable replacement at hooker, with the current pool of players available in the open market failing to satisfy recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan.

The Warriors were able to open up a spot on their roster following a pectoral injury to youngster Junior Ratuva, who will return in 2022.

With both Brown and O’Sullivan currently backing in their reserve options, it is now likely they will wait until at least a month into the season before further assessing their options.