Warriors front-row recruit Adam Blair is excited ahead of his club debut and says there are no excuses for his new side going into tonight's round one NRL clash against South Sydney in Perth.
Speaking following their captain's run at the new 60,000-seat Optus Stadium yesterday, the 31-year-old said the Warriors had enjoyed an ideal preparation as they look to break the hoodoo that's seen them go winless in nine visits to Western Australia.
The hot weather that greeted them upon their arrival in Perth on Monday had cooled considerably yesterday, but temperatures are expected to rise to around 32 degrees by game time at 4pm (9pm NZT).
"It's beautiful. You play with what you've got," said Blair.
"You've got to turn up and that's why we came over here early – we don't want to have any excuses.
"We want to come out here and play the way that we want to play and point this club in the right direction and turn up with a great performance first-up."
The Kiwis World Cup captain has amassed almost 270 games in stints with Melbourne, Wests Tigers and the Brisbane Broncos, but spoke passionately about receiving his first Warriors jersey from his wife, Jess, and uncle, Lance, in an emotional presentation last week.
"It was a very special moment," he said.
"It's a ceremony that is very special and that a lot of boys hold dear and close to their heart.
"To be able to have my family there with me on that day was very special.
"I've said before, it was a dream of mine to play for the Warriors at some stage of my career and just running out here today, I was excited about training leading into this first game.
"There's pressure on everyone to perform, including myself, but being able to come to a stadium like this, playing the game that we love, it's exciting."
Coach Stephen Kearney was also happy with the side's build-up that saw them based in Fremantle before moving into the city on Thursday.
The former Kiwis coach and his players are under added pressure to begin their season on the right note after last year's disastrous campaign ended with nine straight defeats.
"I've been pleased with the preparation," Kearney said.
"There will be no excuses tomorrow. We've been here since Monday and we gave them a pretty good plan on what to stick to."
The Rabbitohs possess plenty of size up front and speed out wide and Kearney hinted the Warriors will look to shift the ball rather than get bogged down in a physical battle.
"There's no doubt it's going to be a physical challenge for us, but we've got some skill in the team and we don't want to be playing into the hands of South Sydney.
"I'm confident the boys understand the task and they're up for it."
The Warriors last night trimmed their squad to 19 men with back-up half Mason Lino and front-rower Agnatius Paasi dropping out, with the final 17 to be finalised an hour before kick-off.
Former NSW State of Origin hooker Robbie Farah's omission from the Rabbitohs side was also confirmed, after he was initially named on an extended bench, with utility Tyrell Fuimaono also cut from coach Anthony Seibold's side.
Rabbitohs v Warriors at Optus Stadium, Perth - tonight at 9pm (NZT)
Updated Team Lists:
Rabbitohs: 1. Alex Johnston 2. Richard Kennar 3. Dane Gagai 4. Greg Inglis 5. Robert Jennings 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Burgess 9. Damien Cook 10. Mark Nicholls 11. John Sutton 12. Angus Crichton 13. Sam Burgess.
Interchange: 14. Cameron Murray 16.George Burgess 17. Tevita Tatola 19. Jason Clark 20. Hymel Hunt 21. Adam Doueihi.
Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-sheck 2. David Fusitua 3. Peta Hiku 4. Solomone Kata 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Blake Green 7. Shaun Johnson 8. James Gavet 9. Issac Luke 10. Adam Blair 11. Isaiah Papali'i 12. Tohu Harris 13. Ligi Sao.
Interchange: 14. Sam Cook 15. Leivaha Pulu 16. Sam Lisone 17. Bunty Afoa 18. Jazz Tevaga 22. Anthony Gelling.
Referees: Grant Atkins, Jon Stone.
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