NRL 2019: Rebuilt right edge ready to fire for Warriors

The most lethal right-edge in the NRL has been dismantled, but winger David Fusitu'a believes the Warriors are now freed up to fire on both sides.

Fusitu'a was the competition's leading try-scorer in 2018, with 23 tries from 23 games, more often than not on the back of some fluent work inside.

The Kiwi club's right edge laid on a competition-high 42 tries, often sparked by halfback Shaun Johnson, or timely passes from second-rower Tohu Harris or centre Pita Hiku.

Johnson has left for Cronulla, while Harris and Hiku will line up on the left side in Saturday's opener against the Canterbury Bulldogs in Auckland.

It isn't yet clear whether Blake Green or fellow-half Adam Keighran will be stationed on the right, with Keighran only recently certified as Johnson's starting replacement.

But Fusitu'a is satisfied with the combination established over the off-season, with experienced pair Adam Blair and Solomone Kata inside him.

"It's exciting," he said. "We've been working hard on those combinations on attack and defence on both sides of the park.

"We'll go into this weekend with a lot of confidence in our game structure."

NRL 2019: Rebuilt right edge ready to fire for Warriors

Coach Stephen Kearney is equally confident the transition will be seamless.

Harris was a left second-rower for four seasons at the Melbourne Storm, while Kata played most of his junior football on the opposite edge, only switching when Konrad Hurrell locked down the Warriors right centre berth.

Kata ran strongly last year, but was often accused of failing to link effectively. He was also caught out defensively at times.

It prompted a plea to Kearney early in the off-season.

"Sol demanded that he go to the right edge," Kearney said. "He wanted to go and work on the right-hand side with his fellow Tongan teammate in David.

"I thought 'that sounds pretty good, they've got a closeness there'. It's working out ok."


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