A change in tactics is set to ease the pressure on Warriors hooker Wayde Egan, with he and Kodi Nikorima to split the rake duties for the remainder of the NRL season.
For the majority of the year, Egan has been the sole specialist hooker in the team and, for the first time in his NRL career, has been required to essentially be an 80-minute player week after week.
"It's been difficult at times," Egan said of the increased workload this season.
"My work rate was probably up; I haven't really had that sort of work rate making in the 50s and 60s tackles each game, but I started to get used to it. Halfway through the year I was probably the fittest I've ever been, I thought.
"It does take a toll on your body though. You're always bashed up and your shoulder is always sore, so it's good now that Kodi's coming off the bench and giving me a spell. I think that's better and more effective for the team as well. Hopefully we can both bring a bit of energy and spark. I think that will probably work the best moving forward."
Nikorima started the year in the halves for the Warriors, but has played from the bench in four of their last five matches, wearing the No 14 jersey for the past three games – all of which were Warriors wins.
The move back to the bench was made for the Warriors' round 18 clash against the Penrith Panthers, however Egan sustained an injury in that match and Nikorima ended up playing the majority of the contest.
In the three weeks that followed, Warriors coach Nathan Brown signalled his intentions to keep Nikorima in a bench role, with Jazz Tevaga and rookie Taniela Otukolo both given starts in Egan's absence.
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With Egan returning from injury last weekend, the Warriors were able to see their two-hooker strategy play out, with Egan playing just 53 minutes after averaging 71 minutes in 16 previous appearances this season.
The 24-year-old said the two-hooker rotation was going to be a feature of their run towards a potential playoffs spot, and it was one he welcomed.
"When I got injured, they were very light on hookers so they threw Jazz in there, and Kodi has played there at international level, so he came in and did a really good job," Egan said.
"That's what Brownie wants to run with for the rest of the year – that two-hooker rotation. I'm happy to share the role; it gives me a spell and Kodi can come on when the big boys are tired. He's got crafty footwork and good ball skills so I think it's a benefit for the team in the back end of the year."