NRL 2019: Warriors poised to drop rookie half Adam Keighran against Titans

NZ Warriors coach Stephen Kearney seems set to lower the axe on rookie half Adam Keighran, as he attempts to turn around his team's dire early-season form.

After an encouraging romp over the Canterbury Bulldogs in their NRL season-opener, the Auckland-based side have leaked 80 points against Wests Tigers and Manly Sea Eagles in comprehensive defeats.

Their 46-12 capitulation to Manly is expected to spark changes in the Warriors line-up and after just three games, Keighran looks like the first victim of that cull.

The squad for Friday's encounter against Gold Coast Titans will be named on Tuesday evening and earlier in the day, Kearney was happy to leave media hanging on his selections.

But senior Warriors players were more forthcoming on the changes, which would see teenager Chanel Harris-Tavita replacing Keighran for his first-grade debut.

"Chanel will get a shot with us," said captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. "He had an awesome pre-season.

"It was real tight, the race between 'Kegs' and Chanel, and now Chanel gets the chance, I'm looking forward to seeing him in the top side.

"Just seeing Chanel run, play fast... that's the style he has. We want to see him run, because with ball in hand he's pretty dangerous, and with Tohu [Harris] next to him, he'll go well in defence."

Both rookies were fast-tracked into contention for the top side, when star half Shaun Johnson was released during the off-season and joined Cronulla Sharks.

Keighran initially won the decision and looked the goods against the Bulldogs, but apart from his 90 percent goal-kicking record, has been relatively ineffective over the past two weeks.

Harris-Tevita impressed fans last season, when he produced a clever back-heeled 'scorpion kick' for the Junior Kiwis to set up a try for Warriors teammate Isaiah Papali'i against Australia.

"Off the back of a couple of disappointing performances, there'll be some adjustments to the side," confirmed Kearney.

"That's the business we're in, aren't we? Performance... it's no different every week.

"There's a certain expectation that we have in footy team and if I feel that adjustments need to be made to the team to reach that expectation, then I'll make them."

Veteran hooker Issac Luke is also expected to miss the Titans outing with injury. Understudy Nathaniel Roache is also sidelined, so Jazz Tevaga and Karl Lawton would share the dummy-half duties.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: