Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has made the cut — for now — and Chanel Harris-Tavita has won the initial battle for the halves spot alongside Blake Green.

They are the two standout features of the first Warriors team of 2020, along with the possible debuts of two young forwards.

Tuivasa-Sheck has been named at fullback to face the Knights on Saturday (5:00pm NZT), after recovering from an ankle strain suffered in the final trial against the Tigers.

But his inclusion will need to be rubberstamped later this week, dependent on his progress at training.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has been named in the Warriors side to take on the Knights this weekend. VIDEO / Sky Sport News

And as first reported by the Herald on Monday, Harris-Tavita, who was named the club's 2019 NRL rookie of the year, gets the first chance in the critical No 6 jersey.

It's reflects the massive progress by the 20-year-old over the last 12 months, as he was stuck behind Adam Keighran at this point last year.

The most intriguing selections are prop Jamayne Taunoa-Brown and second rower Eliesa Katoa, who are poised to play their first games in the NRL, after being included on the interchange bench.

It caps a whirlwind rise for Taunoa-Brown (23), going from a train and trial contract to a fulltime deal after representing the Warriors at the Perth NRL Nines and joining the Australian Indigenous squad for the All-Stars clash against the Maori Kiwis last month.

Taunoa-Brown, who also has Maori heritage, has previously played lower grade football during stints with the Melbourne Storm, Newcastle Knights and Norths Devils (Queensland Cup).

Katoa (20) was picked up by the Warriors after standing out for Tamaki College First XV in 2018.

Born in Hihifo in Tonga, Katoa has impressed throughout the offseason after having his first taste of league in the under-20 competition last year.

While the young duo are in, prop Agnatius Paasi (ankle) and back rower Josh Curran (calf) haven't been named due to injury.


In Paasi's absence, Lachlan Burr partners Leeson Ah Mau in the starting front row while new signing Wayde Egan is named at hooker.

Kodi Nikorima will be used off the bench, similar to his role at the Broncos in 2015, while back-up hooker Karl Lawton is also named after off season shoulder surgery.

Second rower Tohu Harris is back, set to start an NRL match for the first time since last June, after a prolonged foot injury.

It will be the third time in the last six seasons that the Warriors have opened the season against the Knights, with a loss in 2015 (away) and a victory in Stephen Kearney's first match in charge in 2017 at Mt Smart.

The Warriors have won two of their last three matches at McDonald Jones Stadium and overall have a 8-10 win-loss record in Newcastle.

Warriors v Newcastle Knights
5.00pm, (NZT) Saturday, March 14, 2020
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c)
2 Patrick Herbert
3 David Fusitu'a
4 Peta Hiku
5 Ken Maumalo
6 Chanel Harris-Tavita
7 Blake Green
8 Leeson Ah Mau
9 Wayde Egan
10 Lachlan Burr
11 Adam Blair
12 Tohu Harris
13 Isaiah Papali'i
14 Kodi Nikorima
15 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
16 Eliesa Katoa
17 Karl Lawton
18 King Vuniyayawa
20 Hayze Perham
21 Leivaha Pulu
22 Taane Milne