All the action as the Warriors took on the Rabbitohs in the NRL.

The Warriors look set to take a chance on Issac Luke against the Rabbitohs on Saturday — but astutely managing the wear and tear on his body will be one of the key elements to their season.

The long time Kiwis hooker was forced off the field in the second half of the round two loss to Manly in Christchurch with a hamstring strain, and missed last week's win over the Titans.

He's still touch and go, but travelled with the team to Australia on Thursday, and will be given another chance to prove his fitness on Friday, after getting through most of training this week.


"[Issac] will come away with us and hopefully get through captain's run … we will make that decision after our final session," said assistant coach Stacey Jones.

"He's looking really good … that'll be up to Stephen Kearney what he decides. He might think he needs another week. [But] him being around the group as an experienced player is going to help us."

But beyond the round five clash on the Sunshine Coast, the Warriors have to find a way to maximise his contribution this year, while minimising the physical toll on the veteran.

Luke has been remarkably durable over his long NRL career, and tends to bounce back well from injuries and knocks.

He's also incredibly resilient, and played most of last season with a busted shoulder, before having surgery over the off season.

But while Luke's brave, he's not bulletproof.

The 1.75m, 93 kg Taranaki product is one of the strongest players, pound for pound in the NRL, and has toiled in the trenches for 13 years, duelling with giant prop forwards, powerful locks and nippy hookers.

Putting aside his debut campaign in 2007, Luke has played 20 games or more every season since, aside from 2014.


Since 2010 he has averaged 73 minutes each week, and in four of those seasons his figures were 79, 78, 75 and 74 minutes per week.

But how long can that continue?

At the age of 31, Luke is one of the three or four most important players at the Mt Smart club this year, especially as Nathaniel Roache is yet to prove his ability to put together a solid run of games, and the Warriors will carry a rookie half all season.

But Luke can't be expected to play nearly 80 minutes, week in week out, and maintain the load of last season, where he averaged 27 tackles and 65 running metres per match.

He'll need to be managed carefully, even if that means missing the occasional match. Such short term gambles could have long term payoffs.

However, the ultra-competitive Luke will relish the opportunity to take on his former club on Saturday, having spent nine seasons at Redfern.

During that time Luke enjoyed seven wins against the Warriors, but since joining the Mt Smart club he has only been part of one victory over the Rabbitohs, the memorable 32-20 win in Perth to open the season last year.