New Zealand Warriors' coach Andrew Webster has revealed Dallin Watene-Zelezniak could have played first-grade on Sunday afternoon against the Newcastle Knights, but missed selection.

The New Zealand international representative, who has 170 NRL games and 13 Tests under his belt, has been recovering from injury over the opening weeks of the season.

Normally one of the first picked for the Warriors, his delay to the NRL was returned thanks to the Warriors' backline putting on outstanding performances over the opening five rounds, which had the club sitting in second place on the table before the loss to the Knights.

Webster revealed Watene-Zelezniak carried himself well throughout the week after getting the news.

"Not at this second," Webster said when asked whether he had worked out how he would slot Dallin Watene-Zelezniak back into the team.

"I know Dallin's attitude throughout the week [was good]. He is an international. Those boys [Edward Kosi, Viliami Vailea, Adam Pompey and Marcelo Montoya] have played five games and had a big contribution to us winning.

"Dallin comes back and I tell him the news. He said whatever is best for the team, I'll do it. I was pretty proud of him for that, and not only that, but he had a cracking game in reserve grade.

"We will get through tonight and then work it out, but can only go out and play well."

The Warriors suffered no injuries in the backline during the game, but conceding 34 points is sure to leave coach Webster considering his options over Watene-Zelezniak.

Adding to the case will be the fact the veteran 27-year-old winger scored four tries for the Warriors in the NSW Cup yesterday as the reserve grade side beat the Knights 54 points to 14.

His return from injury also saw Watene-Zelezniak, who was named in the 22-man squad on Tuesday at NRL level, run for 206 metres from just 16 carries, and assist one of the other Warriors tries while he came up with four line breaks and 12 tackle busts in a complete all-round performance.

The Warriors will host the Cowboys next weekend.