Michael Burgess is a sports writer for the Herald on Sunday.

NRL: The five biggest Warriors debuts ever

Sam Tomkins. Photo / Photosport
Sam Tomkins. Photo / Photosport

Ahead of Kieran Foran's highly anticipated Warriors debut against the Dragons later this evening, Michael Burgess profiles the five biggest Warriors debuts to have taken place throughout the club's 22-year history.

1. Sam Tomkins, 2014

The English fullback was the Warriors biggest signing, arriving with a huge reputation and an even bigger price tag. It was a gamble that didn't work, and his first game was a disappointment, a 36-16 loss at Parramatta.

2. Dean Bell, 1995

The 1980s Kiwis hero hadn't been sighted in New Zealand for almost a decade before he returned to lead the Warriors inaugural team, beginning with the memorable opening clash with the Broncos in March 1995.

3. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2016

Tuivasa-Sheck was a revelation for the Roosters in the 2015 NRL season, changing perceptions of what was possible from a fullback. But his first match for the Warriors was an anti-climax, as the Auckland club crashed to defeat against the Tigers.

4. John Kirwan, 1995

The All Blacks legend added several thousand to the Warriors gate during the 1995 season, and his debut was memorable, a 38-12 win over the Illawarra Steelers that marked the Warriors' first Winfield Cup win.

5. Ruben Wiki, 2005

The return of the Kiwis ironman -- more than a decade after he could have made his debut -- was highly anticipated by Warriors fans, although his first match was a close 26-20 loss to the Sea Eagles at Mt Smart.

- NZ Herald

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