The Warriors had always professed their patience in searching the player market for Shaun Johnson's replacement.

As a result, it gave young halves Adam Keighran and Chanel Harris-Tavita some valuable time earning their stripes at NRL level. While Keighran found himself as the scapegoat after the team's early season jitters, Harris-Tavita has many fans excited for the future.

And with the signing of Kiwis half Kodi Nikorima from the Brisbane Broncos announced during the week, the 20-year-old Harris-Tavita will again return to being a prospect for the future after the side's match against the Newcastle Knights on Sunday.

"I think if you look short term it can be pretty tough," Warriors assistant coach Tony Iro said. "But it's a tough gig being a halfback and organising an NRL team, and I think he'll gain a lot of benefits from having another good halfback around and learning from him."


It was a baptism by fire for Harris-Tavita. After his first match at the top level, he found himself as the only half in the Warriors line up after veteran Blake Green was felled by injury and the side chose replace him by playing experienced players out of position.

In his four games of first-grade, the Warriors have battled to a win and three losses by a combined 12 points. He was expected to return to reserve grade and play alongside Keighran after Sunday's game, however Iro said there was every chance he'd return to the top level again this season.

"Blake's already missed three games through injury this year. I think what the kids learn in the NRL is it's one game at a time, and I'm pretty sure Chanel's only focus is getting his job done on Sunday."

Green has another one and a half years left on his contract with the Warriors and with Nikorima signing until the end of the 2021 season, Harris-Tavita and Keighran will have to bide their time.

Kodi Nikorima during a Brisbane Broncos NRL Training Session. Photo / Getty Images
Kodi Nikorima during a Brisbane Broncos NRL Training Session. Photo / Getty Images

While they have a chance to work with two halves with high levels of experience as they continue to develop, Warriors fans have seen the club lose promising youngsters chasing greater roles in recent years, including halves Ata Hingano (Canberra), Mason Lino (Newcastle), and utility Tuimoala Lolohea (Tigers).

More and more NRL squads are looking toward young halves, including Brisbane who replaced with teenage halfback Tom Dearden.

Iro said the Warriors felt they were in a good position to help the development of their young halves as they worked toward becoming full-time first-graders, but felt he couldn't comment on how the situation might impact either Harris-Tavita's or Keighran's future with the club.

"It's hard to say. He's had a taste of it [but] I think if you asked Chanel, he's far from the finished product," Iro said.


"If I was a young halfback coming through, I'd probably think I was in a pretty good place. We've got the current Kiwi halfback and one of the best organisers in the game in Blake."

Green is set to return from a three-game absence against the Knights on Sunday, with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck also in line to return from injury. The side will be without winger David Fusitu'a, however, who has failed to overcome a rib injury.

Like the Warriors, the Knights have had an inconsistent start to the season which has seen players in key roles move around the starting line up or miss time through injury.

However, they looked to have turned a corner in their most recent match with a dominant win over the Parramatta Eels — with the final 28-14 score line against one of the competition's fast starters a sign of things to come.

"They'll come to play and they've got some pretty handy footballers. It will be a great contest," Iro said.

"We're going to have to be good, but in the NRL you have to be good every week to give yourself an opportunity."