Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

League: Warriors rule out second chance for Kevin Locke

Kevin Locke. Photo / Getty
Kevin Locke. Photo / Getty

The Warriors will stay in-house to cover for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, and have ruled out giving Kevin Locke a second chance at the club.

Assistant coach Justin Morgan indicated to RadioSport's the Crowd Goes Wild Breakfast that Tui Lolohea would initially cover the fullback role, with Thomas Leuluai remaining alongside Shaun Johnson in the halves.

Lolohea, who started the season on the wing, had to shift from the halves to fullback when Tuivasa-Sheck was injured late in the first quarter during the win over the Bulldogs in Wellington.

Tuivasa-Sheck has been ruled out for the season with an ACL injury, a bitter blow for the club as Morgan acknowledged. It led to speculation that Locke, an itinerant and troubled figure, could be given an Auckland lifeline.

Morgan said: "No it's not going to be one for us - I'm pretty sure that is not an option.

"The salary cap is tight and what we've got is what we've got. Tui had one of his strongest games at fullback.

"His game naturally suits that - he's a runner, he can swing either side of the field, so we've got a pretty good replacement there.

Listen: The Crowd Goes Wild Breakfast interviews Andrew Voss

"And Thomas is quite suited to playing on the left hand side - he plays very directly which will help Ryan Hoffman.

Listen: The Crowd Goes Wild Breakfast interview Justin Morgan

"We've just got to get on with it - we can't kiss the seasons goodbye just because we've had a couple of injuries."

Morgan said the loss of Tuivasa-Sheck could also open the door for one of the younger players such as fullback Henare Wells rather than turning back the clock with Locke.

The 27-year-old Locke, who played 88 games for the Warriors up until 2014, has been linked with the Dragons, who also rescued the career of prop Russell Packer who was jailed for assault.

- NZ Herald

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