New signing Tohu Harris will add plenty of thrust to the Warriors' play but it's his first-class work ethic and professional attitude that could benefit the club most this season.

The 26-year-old former Melbourne premiership-winning back-rower has the ability to play tough through the middle, while his broad skill-set and vision gives him the ability to threaten on the edges and create opportunities for his outside men.

His arrival in Auckland sees him reunited with some familiar faces in former Melbourne five-eighth Blake Green and ex-Storm high performance trainer Alex Corvo.

He credits his time at the club under head coach Craig Bellamy for ingraining in him all the qualities that make him one of the best forwards in the NRL.


"They instil a work ethic into you that has paved the way for things that I've been able to achieve in my career," he said.

"I'm extremely lucky that they work that into you and you can go two ways, You either drop out or you keep working hard and you get lucky.

"I feel extremely lucky to have come through that system."

It's those qualities the Warriors hope will rub off on the club's less experienced players, while coach Stephen Kearney anticipates the best years of Harris' career are still to come.

"He's a fairly accomplished footballer and obviously to get to that level, he's got to have a fair character about him, and that's a big part of what he brings to the club," said Kearney.

"He has some of his best footy ahead of him. He's a young fella, played in the last two grand finals, and his last one was a pretty special performance.

"He's a real asset, not just in what he brings footy-wise, but everything else that goes with him. He's a footballer that knows how to get the job done and get it done well."

The former Kiwis coach handed Harris his first test jersey for the 2013 mid-year Anzac clash against the Kangaroos, but later that year dropped him from the World Cup squad after Sonny Bill Williams made himself available for selection a day after the team was announced.

It's a credit to Harris that he was able to shrug off his disappointment and the matter never affected his relationship with his new club coach.

"It was a very tough conversation to have," said Kearney. "I had him in the Kiwis team after that and he was an integral part of some really good wins. He's a wonderful young man and since I've known him, he's been that way. He just gets on with the job."

Kearney recalled how Harris' dedication and attention to detail in his preparation and recovery went above and beyond most of his team-mates. While other players might look to switch off and relax in the hours immediately after a match, Harris was still thinking about football.

"We were over in the UK and after a test match, we were at the hotel having dinner, and he asked if I had the game on a hard drive.

"I hadn't even downloaded it to my computer yet and he said 'I might have trouble sleeping and I'll just watch the game a couple of times'.

"He's very understated. He's a bit undercover though, a bit cheekier than what he puts out. He comes across as being quiet and unassuming but he checks everything and is always asking 'what's that for?'

"He's one of those players. He's a footy head."

In a mark of his professionalism, Harris ruled himself out of the Kiwis World Cup campaign at the end of last season after a broken foot and a rotator cuff problem forced him to miss 13 games through the year.

He returned to play a key role in Melbourne's finals charge and was a stand-out performer in their grand final win over North Queensland. But the physical toll saw him stand down from selection for the New Zealand side as he focused on being ready for his first game in Warriors colours.

"It was important that I didn't put my body at more risk," said Harris. "I wanted to avoid surgery as much as possible and was able to do that and the risk was just too high [to play at the World Cup].

"I'm still managing different injuries but I've slowly been doing more and more [throughout pre-season] and hopefully I can continue to build on that getting closer to the season.

"They [the injuries] are both still there, I just have to manage them and be smart with the things I do. But I still have to make sure I'm ready to start the season as best I can.

"If everything goes well from now until the start of the season, then everything should be all right."

The Warriors have two pre-season trials scheduled later this month, against Melbourne in Rotorua on February 17 and the Gold Coast Titans on the Sunshine Coast on February 24, before their round one NRL clash against South Sydney at Optus Stadium in Perth on March 10.