NRL: Former Warriors coach Ivan Cleary relishes Mt Smart return with Tigers

Seven years ago, Ivan Cleary was sitting in Stephen Kearney's spot and he's more than happy to be back in Auckland.

"My wife came over yesterday, so she's got my social planning done," chuckles the former Warriors and now-West Tigers NRL coach. "So I'll work out what's going on after training today."

This is a business trip, not pleasure for Cleary and his side with the inside knowledge to get the job done against his old outfit on Saturday at his old Mt Smart Stadium stamping ground.

The Tigers have 11 New Zealand-born players in their squad and five of those are former Warriors.

"Russell Packer and Ben Matulino are probably two really good examples," offers Cleary. "I've coached them before and know them quite well, and thought they could really add to our club.

But there's at least one unknown quantity in this week's Warriors line-up. Has he been preparing to play against 'injured' hooker Issac Luke?

"Well, there's a few hookers named," he smiles.

Three to be exact and while Luke's fitness is up in the air, there's no sweating over Shaun Johnson, who was forced to watch last week's 50-10 demolition by the Melbourne Storm from the couch.

"Forty minutes we would rather forget and amends this weekend," reflects Johnson, who has been named in the half jersey against Wests.

They've had 10 days to stew on it now, but forward Adam Blair is sure there'll be no mental scaring.

"Our focus quickly shifted to our next opponents, which are the Tigers," he insists.

Mt Smart continues to be a home away from home for Cleary. Last month, the Tigers took down the Storm there.

"It was a good night for us to be able to understand the energy and the feeling of the stadium," he says.

"It was an amazing night, that night, and obviously we got a good win."

A win for the Warriors this week would be the icing on the cake for their new owners.