Warriors young gun Nathaniel Roache has earned another well-deserved shot in the No9 jersey but you won't hear him talking up his chances of permanently usurping senior hooker Issac Luke.

The 21-year-old will start for just the third time in his 20th NRL game in tomorrow's clash against Canberra at Mt Smart Stadium, following Luke's demotion after a woeful performance from the Kiwis international in last week's loss to Newcastle.

But Roache, as humble and respectful as he is nimble out of dummy-half, can't bring himself to admit that he's fast emerging as a contender to displace the 228-game veteran long-term.

"That's not really something that's on my mind," said Roache. "I'll do what's best for the team but taking someone's position is not something that's really on my mind at the moment.


"I'll always see Issac as the top dog in my eyes and I've still got plenty to learn as a hooker and off him as well.

"And for me it's not an option really, because Bully is still here next year, and he's still a high-class player with a lot of rep behind him.

"It's another opportunity to get a start and get more game time, that's how I see it."

After struggling for minutes off the bench earlier in the season, a rib injury to Luke saw Roache make the most of a 47-minute stint in the round 16 win over the Bulldogs.

He was then promoted to the starting side for the following week's clash against Manly in Perth but suffered a hamstring injury which sidelined him for the next five weeks.

He showed no hesitancy and injected plenty of spark into the Warriors' struggling attack when he replaced Luke at halftime against Newcastle, before an injury to David Fusitu'a saw him shuffled out to the right wing.

Despite being thrust into an unfamiliar role he acquitted himself well and maintained his involvement to score the Warriors' second try before the Knights rallied to clinch victory.

The Warriors' finals hopes might be long gone but Roache is determined to make the most of their last four games ahead of what looms as another long pre-season.

"I wouldn't say it was one of my better performances but I got through it and did my job," he said. "[Getting a start] does give me a bit [of added motivation] but in the back of my mind I know that it's probably just Mooks [coach Stephen Kearney] giving more of us young dudes game time and more of an opportunity.

"But I see it as something that I can really build on into next year as well as making my mark with this team in the NRL."

Tomorrow will be a big occasion for the Roache family, with younger brother Paul returning home to captain the Raiders under-20 side against the Junior Warriors.

The 19-year-old halfback represented the New Zealand Schoolboys rugby side last year before switching codes and featuring among the Green Machine's NRL Auckland Nines squad in February.

In a funny twist, Paul is currently playing alongside and sharing a house with one of his brother's former hooking rivals, Erin Clarke, who left the Warriors midseason to explore better opportunities with Canberra.

"It's been a while, so it will be good to see the little bro.

"My whole family is really sporty. Dad played a lot of rugby and mum did athletics and netball as well.

"My sister Rebecca was a great netball player for Mt Albert Grammar, and my youngest sister Abigail also plays a lot of netball and is in the mix for the Auckland sevens, so she's doing really well so I don't think it will be long before she blows up."