Try-scoring dynamo Glen Fisiiahi is in line to pull on the No.1 jersey for the Warriors in their NRL clash against the Sydney Roosters on Saturday night if first-choice fullback Kevin Locke fails to recover from injury.
With Locke backing up from his stellar 2011 to be one of the New Zealand side’s best to start 2012, Fisiiahi has been forced to ply his trade with Warriors feeder team the Auckland Vulcans.
But the 21-year-old, who has scored nine tries in the past two weeks in the NSW Cup, has been named on a six-man bench and could be making his first top-grade appearance this season in the Allianz Stadium clash.
Locke is under an injury cloud after suffering a leg injury in the Warriors’ win over the Gold Coast last week, and Roosters fullback Anthony Minichiello for one hopes he isn’t declared fit.
“Hopefully he’s out, he’s a top player. He’s quick, he’s strong and he supports those big guys through the middle really well so we’ll monitor that and see if he is (playing) or not,” Minichiello said.
Like the Warriors, the Roosters have won two of their first four matches but will head into the weekend on the back of a demoralising 44-4 loss to league-leaders Melbourne Storm while the Warriors enjoyed a 26-6 thumping of the Gold Coast.
“Obviously we didn’t work together as a team in defence and as soon as you try and solve things individually then it doesn’t work for you, you’ve got to do it as a collective group,” Minichiello admitted.
The Warriors have beaten the Roosters in five of the last six matches between the sides and Minichiello knows the Roosters need to finetune their backline against one of the most intimidating attacks in the competition.
“The Warriors are a big side, there’s no doubt about that,” Minichiello said.
“They defend well and defend strong and obviously their attack is very exciting to watch.
“I’ve been watching a few of their games this year and they’re pretty good in both attack and defence so we have to improve a big deal to try and get those two points on Saturday.”
Veteran prop Sam Rapira has also been named on the Warriors’ extended bench after missing the opening four rounds with a shoulder injury, while Manu Vatuvei has recovered from the tight hamstring he suffered during last week’s match.
There’s only one change to the starting line-up, with Feleti Mateo named to start in the second row in place of Lewis Brown.
The Roosters have name an unchanged line-up.