Tohu Harris has no regrets about his shift to the Warriors, even though it carries a fair degree of risk.

Harris is leaving NRL premiers the Melbourne Storm, recognised as one of the most professional sporting franchises across Australasia, to come to a club that has a long, lingering catalogue of issues.

Look at the contrast. Harris has played in the last two grand finals, and just over a fortnight ago was standing in a winning dressing room after the NRL's big dance. The prospect of the Warriors, who have a 36 per cent win ratio over the last two seasons, achieving something similar soon appear about as improbable, and distant, as E.T.'s return journey home.

Harris is, to put it bluntly, transferring from the penthouse suite to the basement apartment.


The deal was sealed before the start of the 2017 season, and perhaps just as well. A similar approach by the Warriors now would surely be a much tougher sell.

Harris admits it is going to be difficult to leave the club that he first joined as a 17-year-old, after being discovered at trials in Wellington.

"It's going to be very hard," Harris told the Weekend Herald.

"I spent all my adult years growing up in Melbourne, I met my wife there and we have made our own family there. It's always going to be hard leaving a team I have grown up with, and leaving some lifelong friends. But the reasons we are doing it make it easier for us. We are making the move for family reasons and that's worth it for us."

Both Harris and his wife, who have one son, will have the opportunity to be closer to their respective families

But it will be a significant adjustment for Harris on the field, and he is risking a career downturn,.

Look at Issac Luke. For various reasons he has struggled to maintain his Rabbitohs' form since coming to Mt Smart, and lost his Kiwis place as a result. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has also found it tough in Auckland after his scorching years with the Roosters.

Harris is swapping a team that usually dominates, for a team that is often dominated. At the Storm, Harris won 65 per cent of his 117 NRL games, and a staggering 78 per cent over the last two seasons. Over the same period, Simon Mannering has tasted victory in only 41 per cent of 115 NRL games, dipping to 36 per cent in the last two years.

Is Harris ready?

"It's going to be a huge challenge," he said. "But it's one I am willing to take on and I am looking forward to. They have got some talented players in that team. They had a lot of results go against them this year but I don't think it is too far away. There are changes that needed to be made, but I think they can turn the corner."

Harris is a great acquisition. At 25 he is coming into his prime, illustrated with his display in the grand final win, when he was one of the best on the field. His work ethic and output is reminiscent of Mannering, in the way that he will deliver every week.

"I'm definitely not the magic ingredient or anything like that," Harris said with a laugh. "I will just go there, work as hard as I can and hopefully make a difference. But one individual isn't going change things; every single person has to buy into whatever the team's goals are. It can't be just one individual carrying the load and that is the way it has to be next year."

2018 season draw

Warriors' draw for 2018 NRL Premiership (all times are local).

Rd 1 Saturday March 10 v South Sydney, Perth Stadium, 4pm

Rd 2 Saturday, March 17 v Gold Coast, Mt Smart Stadium, 5pm

Rd 3 Saturday, March 24 v Canberra, GIO Stadium, 3pm

Rd 4 Saturday, March 31 v Sydney Roosters, Allianz Stadium, 5.30pm

Rd 5 Saturday, April 7 v North Queensland, Mt Smart Stadium, 7.30pm

Rd 6 Saturday, April 14 v Brisbane, Mt Smart Stadium, 5pm

Rd 7 Friday, April 20 v St George Illawarra, Mt Smart Stadium, 8pm

Rd 8 Wednesday, April 25 v Melbourne, AAMI Park, 7pm

Rd 9 Saturday, May 5 v Wests Tigers, Mt Smart Stadium, 7.30pm

Rd 10 Saturday, May 12 v Sydney Roosters, Mt Smart Stadium, 5pm

Rd 11 Friday, May 18 v Parramatta, ANZ Stadium, 6pm

Rd 12 Saturday, May 26 v South Sydney, Mt Smart Stadium, 7.30pm

Rd 13 Bye

Rd 14 Saturday, June 9 v Manly, AMI Stadium Christchurch, 5pm

Rd 15 Friday, June 15 v North Queensland, 1300SMILES Stadium, 6pm

Rd 16 Friday, June 29 v Cronulla, Mt Smart Stadium, 8pm

Rd 17 Friday, July 6 v Penrith, Penrith Stadium, 7.50pm

Rd 18 Sunday, July 15 v Brisbane, Suncorp Stadium, 2pm

Rd 19 Sunday, July 22 v Melbourne, Mt Smart Stadium, 4pm

Rd 20 Sunday, July 29 v Gold Coast, CBus Super Stadium, 2pm

Rd 21 Saturday, August 4 v St George Illawarra, WIN Stadium, 3pm

Rd 22 Friday, August 10 v Newcastle, Mt Smart Stadium, 8pm

Rd 23 Sunday, August 19 v Canterbury, ANZ Stadium, 2pm

Rd 24 Friday, August 24 v Penrith, Mt Smart Stadium, 8pm

Rd 25 Friday, August 31 v Canberra, Mt Smart Stadium, 8pm