Harris-Tavita out; Asi in line to make Warriors debut

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

The Warriors have been dealt another blow to their squad, this time in Chanel Harris-Tavita.

It was revealed, during the recent Anzac Day match with the Melbourne Storm, that the 23-year-old player had ruptured one of his testicles in the last few minutes of the first half. The Te Rarawa halfback soldiered throughout the rest game, despite being sidelined for two minutes to undergo examination.

The incident came after accidentally colliding with teammate Josh Curran's knee when both players paired up to try and stop Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen from scoring.

It's the latest to be added to the casualty ward from the horror 70-10 loss to the Storm, with Dallin Watene Zelezniak suffering a concussion, Curran's knee, and Aaron Pene suspended for one game due to high contact.

Chanel is expected to make a recovery for round 10 or 11 of the NRL season.

Though Harris-Tavita will miss this Saturday's clash with the Canberra Raiders, it could mean an early call-up to the starting lineup for a recent signee. 

Stepping up

The news was only a few days old, but Cowboy-turned-Warrior Daejarn Asi is now in line for his NZ club debut to replace Harris-Tavita, according to warriors.kiwi. Asi is already versatile in the back roles having played five-eight, centre and fullback, so could be the replacement needed to combo with veteran halfback Shaun Johnson.

Asi is yet to be confirmed for this Saturday, as he's only been named in the reserves. But with no other option in the halves (Kodi Nikorima with Covid, Ash Taylor injured), it is highly likely the Ngāi Tahu young gun will take to the field. If so, the Asi and Johnson halves combo will be the fifth different set of halfbacks for the New Zealand club.