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

League: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad to make Warriors debut

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad. Photo / Photosport
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad. Photo / Photosport

One of the most highly rated youngsters in the Warriors system is poised to make his NRL debut on Sunday against the Roosters.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad has been named to start on the right wing, with Blake Ayshford switching to left centre to cover the injured Solomone Kata.

Veteran wing Manu Vatuvei returns to an extended bench, along with prop Albert Vete, who has been out of favour over the last month.

But it's the selection of Nicoll-Klokstad that will grab the most attention.

The 21-year was the club's 2016 ISP player of the year, and has carried that form into this campaign, one of the most impressive performers for the unbeaten Warriors reserve grade side.

Nicoll-Klokstad is seen as a player of the future, but his selection will cast further doubt over the future of Tui Lolohea at Mt Smart.

Lolohea was the first choice right wing at the start of this season, but now appears to have slipped down the pecking order behind both Ayshford and Nicoll-Klokstad.

The Auckland-born Nicoll-Klolstad started his playing career as a City Newtown Dragons junior before moving to Melbourne.

He was in the Storm's NYC squad for two years - and one of the standout performers - before being signed by the Warriors ahead of the 2016 season.

Nicoll-Klokstad can play all across the backline, having played long periods at fullback in the past.

Coach Stephen Kearney has also made two changes on the extended bench by including Vatuvei and Vete.

Kata suffered a hamstring injury just before halftime in Tuesday night's 20-14 loss to the competition-leading Storm. It's yet to be confirmed how long Kata will be on the sidelines. ​

New Zealand Warriors v Sydney Roosters
Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

4.00pm, Sunday, April 30

Warriors:

1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c)
2. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
3. David Fusitu'a
4. Blake Ayshford
5. Ken Maumalo
6. Kieran Foran
7. Shaun Johnson
8. James Gavet
9. Issac Luke
10. Jacob Lillyman
11. Bodene Thompson
12. Ryan Hoffman
13. Simon Mannering

Interchange: Nathaniel Roache, Ligi Sao, Sam Lisone, Ben Matulino, Manu Vatuvei, Albert Vete, Bunty Afoa, Mafoa'aeata Hingano (Four to be omitted)

- NZ Herald

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