NRL 2019: Warriors utility Jazz Tevaga braced for emotional Christchurch return

Jazz Tevaga reckons the enormity of the Christchurch mosque shootings won't fully hit him, until he arrives in the city of his birth this week.

Warriors forward Tevaga will try to keep emotions in check, when he faces the Manly Sea Eagles at Christchurch Stadium on Saturday, with their NRL match being the first major sporting event in the city, since a gunman claimed 50 lives on March 15.

It was Tevaga who called his downcast and confused teammates together in Auckland on the night of the atrocity, encouraging them to vent their feelings.

They recovered their poise to thrash the Bulldogs the following day in a compelling season opener.

Sunday's heavy loss to the Wests Tigers in Sydney seemed a world away, both physically and mentally, but this week, the Warriors are confronted again by the fallout of the terrorist attack.

Tevaga said he and some others from the Warriors would visit the Al Noor Mosque when they arrive on Friday, saying it was important to pay their respects.

"It'll probably hit me when we get down there and amongst some of the people," he said.

"Right now, I'm just solely focused on getting the job done [in the game], but I'm sure the emotions will come when we get there.

"I'm preparing for the worst. It's going to be pretty emotional, I reckon."

Tevaga missed last year's game against Manly in Christchurch with injury, so has extra motivation to perform in front of a wider family, whom he credits for his career progression.

Both teams are heavily involved in community events this week.

NRL 2019: Warriors utility Jazz Tevaga braced for emotional Christchurch return

An advance group from the Warriors have already visited Christchurch schools, while the Sea Eagles will be visible at several venues on Thursday, as well as participating in a National Remembrance Service the following day.

Both teams are planning a special pre-match event.

"It's very sombre down there, but it's a good opportunity for us to put some smiles on some faces," Tevaga said.

"What they've been through the last couple of weeks, I can't imagine. Pretty tough eh?"

AAP 

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