Six new faces will feature for the Warriors in their first trial hit-out against Melbourne Storm at Rotorua International Stadium on Saturday.

Coach Stephen Kearney's 23-man squad includes experienced Kiwis international Peta Hiku, Cook Islands representative Anthony Gelling, Mate Ma'a Tonga players Agnatius Paasi and Leivaha Pulu, Taupo-raised Matiu Love-Henry and 18-year-old Rotorua Boys' High School product Hayze Perham.

Wing David Fusitu'a, five-eighth Ata Hingano and centre Solomone Kata are also included after starring for Tonga at the Rugby League World Cup.

Read more: Winning culture will help Warriors retain RTS
Warriors bidders eye US fixtures


Centre and 167-game veteran Blake Ayshford will be the side's most experienced campaigner while he's joined by Toa Samoa World Cup forwards Sam Lisone and Bunty Afoa as well as former Tonga international Albert Vete, who were all NRL regulars last season.

Kearney will also rely on Toa Samoa wing Ken Maumalo, 2017 NRL rookies Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Isaiah Papali'i and Chris Satae, along with Mason Lino, Ligi Sao and Jazz Tevaga who all featured in first-grade last year.

Halfback Lino, the club's Intrust Super Premiership captain last year, will lead the side in the absence of usual skipper and fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

As expected, Kearney has opted to rest Tuivasa-Sheck and Kiwis halfback Shaun Johnson, who recently underwent eye surgery, while new signings Adam Blair, Tohu Harris and Blake Green will also miss the match.

Those players are likely to feature in the Warriors second and last trial game against the Gold Coast Titans on the Sunshine Coast on February 24.

"You get a real sense the players are just looking forward to getting their hands on the ball at last," said Kearney.

"It has been a long preseason for most of them. We believe they've prepared as well as they can but right now they're just a bit anxious about playing.

"It's a chance for all these players to have a run and especially for our new players to experience playing alongside their new team-mates."

Hooker Issac Luke is one notable omission, though the former Kiwis No9 has been troubled with minor leg injuries throughout the pre-season, while back-up rake Nathaniel Roache is still on the comeback trail after suffering a season-ending Achilles injury last August.

Kearney is yet to settle on a starting line-up while the team will travel to Rotorua on Thursday and fulfil various promotional duties ahead of the match against the defending NRL premiers.

The Storm are set to name a similarly understrength side with most of their big guns remaining in Melbourne for Friday's World Club Challenge match against English Super League Champions Leeds Rhinos at AAMI Park.

Warriors v Storm at Rotorua International Stadium, 3pm Saturday
Warriors: Bunty Afoa, Blake Ayshford, Sam Cook, David Fusitu'a, Anthony Gelling, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Peta Hiku, Ata Hingano, Solomone Kata, Mason Lino (c), Sam Lisone, Matiu Love-Henry, Ken Maumalo, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Agnatius Paasi, Hayze Perham, Chris Satae, Isaiah Papali'I, Leivaha Pulu, Ligi Sao Lewis Soosemea, Jazz Tevaga, Albert Vete.

To get the day's top sports stories in your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here