Warriors impact player Konrad Hurrell could come off the bench to play in the forwards if an opportunity in the backline does not present itself in tomorrow's crucial clash against the Newcastle Knights.
The blockbusting centre will make his first NRL appearance of the season at Mt Smart Stadium, but Warriors assistant coach Andrew Webster says he may be forced to inject himself in the middle of the park rather than out wide.
Radio Sport's Matt Brown talks to Warriors assistant coach Andrew Webster:
"Konrad could find himself anywhere in the outside backs," Webster told Radio Sport today.
"It gives us a little flexibility with Tui Lolohea. If Konrad were to go on, Tui could jump up somewhere else on the field.
"But we might even have to give him a crack in the forwards if need be."
The reduction this season of the interchanges, from 10 to eight, means the Warriors are wary of leaving themselves without adequate cover for the outside backs.
Injuries to wing Manu Vatuvei in the final preseason trial against St George-Illawarra (head knock) and in the round two away match against Brisbane (ribs), and a concussion suffered by centre Blake Ayshford in the same match, caused significant disruptions and underlined the importance of having a specialist outside back replacement.
However, Hurrell is not guaranteed to get game time in the backs, but his powerful running could still be effective in helping the Warriors achieve some go-forward closer in to the ruck.
"The problem you've got with the eight subs, is that if you don't carry an outside back you really do leave yourself short," said Webster.
"Game time, I think everyone's going to have to be patient, because we've got a plan around injury, with Konrad, but not necessarily like we do with our other forwards. We're pretty calculated in what minute they're going to go on, and when they're going to get game time.
"With Konrad, we're not sure yet. We're just excited to have Konrad on our bench and if he gets the opportunity we know he's ready to go."
Webster believes the 15th-placed Warriors, who are winless after three rounds, have shown signs of improvement in hard-fought defeats to the Broncos and Storm.
Beating the 14th ranked Knights, who have also failed to win a game but drew last week's match against Canberra, is imperative and would help ease the pressure on the Auckland-based side.
"We've got to walk away with the points.
"For us to improve in the manner we did and take two of the best teams late into the game and to really pressure them, it just puts us in good stead and it's a big learning curve.
"Our training's been good and we're feeling really confident. We've got one more session tomorrow, so if we nail that there's no reason why we can't come away with a victory."