Warriors to wear Te Amokura jersey for Indigenous Round clash with Knights

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis
Te Amokura worn by players Adam Pompey, Jazz Tevaga & captain Tohu Harris. Credit: Facebook / Vodafone Warriors

The Warriors are hoping to end a three-game losing streak as their Indigenous Round matchup with Newcastle's elite approaches this Saturday.

The same can be said for the Knights as they equally want to get a much-needed victory, having only recorded one win among four losses in their past five games.

The round 12 weekend of matches will see every NRL club don their indigenous designed jerseys, with representations of the land and people of where their club originates from.

The Knights wear the artwork of proud Worimi man Gerard Black. who has designed their jersey representing the 13 First Nations in the north and northwestern areas of New South Wales. Last October saw the club call for expressions of interest to artists for the 2022 jersey design, which led to Black's artwork Birriwal Guwiyn.

Credit: instagram / @nrlknights

The Warriors team for this Saturday, named by coach Nathan Brown last night, has one player returning and one big man out. That returning player is five-eighth Chanel Harris-Tavita (ruptured testicle), who revealed earlier this week that he will take a hiatus from rugby league from next year.

Credit: Facebook / Vodafone Warriors.

The injury sees Warriors unit Addin Fonua-Blake (foot) potentially out long term. He will be replaced by recent 100-game Jazz Tevaga to cover prop, pairing with Ben Murdoch-Masila who covers Matt Lodge's recent immediate release.

With Harris-Tavita back, centre-turned-five eighth Daejarn Asi shifts to the reserves, having played four games for the Warriors after halfback injuries and releases over the last few weeks.

Tevaga's shift from hooker to prop gives recently-signed Roosters hooker Freddy Lussick his first start for the New Zealand club, having played from the bench in the apst two weeks.

Apart from Harris-Tavita's return, Murdoch-Masila and substitute hooker Taniela Otukolo on the bench, the squad remains fairly much the same.

Captain and second-rower Tohu Harris will lead his club out for his 185th NRL game, just 15 shy of the 200-game milestone. The Warriors will wear the Te Amokura Indigenous Round jersey designed by Toi Ake.

Credit: Facebook / Vodafone Warriors.

Māori artists Maia Gibbs (Ngāti Tāmanuhiri, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Kahungunu) and Henare Brooking Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa), both of Toi Ake, were responsible for Te Amokura. 

Gibbs says they didn't want the jersey to be "tokenistic".

"For us, as moko artists, this needs to encompass, more so, what the club and the team want to represent. With regards to a design process, we're the paintbrushes and the pencils that put it together, but it's the players that are the most important.

"They're the ones who wear this, the ones who live their lives under a microscope, the ones who turn the page on the paper and they're getting pulled apart by everyone around thems. So this is about them and what they wanted to represent."

The 11th-placed Warriors have won 22 of their 43 matchups with the 15th-placed Newcastle club, with one draw. Knights captain Kalyn Ponga (Te Ātihaunui-a-Pāpārangi) will lead his side to what might be their fourth win, at the Warriors' home away from home at Moreton Daily Stadium in Redcliffe.

And in case the loyal Warriors faithful had forgotten - it's less than 40 days until the club comes back home!