NZ Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will try to avoid suspension by pleading not guilty for an alleged shoulder charge at the NRL judiciary on Tuesday.
Tuivasa-Sheck was struck with a grade one shoulder charge by the NRL's Match Review Committee for his hit on Felise Kaufusi during NZ's 50-6 hammering by the Melbourne Storm on Friday.
If the star fullback is unsuccessful he will miss Saturday's match against the Broncos.
But even if Tuivasa-Sheck had entered an early guilty plea, the star fullback was facing a week on the sidelines.
"Everyone knows what Roger will do for our team and obviously it would be a massive loss," admits Warriors back Patrick Herbert.
Meanwhile, the club has denied reports from across the Tasman that they've approached Sydney Roosters assistant Craig Fitzgibbon to take up their vcacant head coach role.
Chief executive Cam George tells Newshub that the recruitment process is yet to commence.
Later this week, George will meet with owner Mark Robinson and Warriors stalwart Simon Mannering to discuss potential candidates.
At the squad's base in Gosford, the four Warriors players who have threatened to walk out and return home if their families aren't granted an exemption to join them in Australia do so with their team's backing.
"It's a tough time for them," says Herbert. "They've got things that they need to do, but we'll be in full support."
The players involved - Ken Maumalo, David Fusitu'a, Agnatius Paasi, Leivaha Pulu and - have agreed to remain with the side for the next three rounds of play. Anything beyond that may come down to NSW border authorities.
But the issue hasn't been a big talking point among the team.
"We don't really ask the questions. We don't want to get on that level. We'll let them worry about it and we'll just do our work at training," Herbert adds.
The Warriors have garnered plenty of sympathy for what they've sacrificed for this competition. But for some, that sympathy is starting to run out.
"I don't want to be dismissive of what they're going through and the sacrifices they've made," says Fox's Andrew Webster. "It must be really tough. But it is what it is."
The good news is that the Warriors have acquired Penrith Panthers front-rower Jack Hetherington.
The 2018 Panthers rookie of the year had his first session with the side on Monday.
"He's a strong carrier of the footy," says Warriors prop Lachlan Burr. "Strong vocally, so he's gonna be a good asset for the team."
But they could need some more loan players in three weeks if the NRL can't grant the exemption the four players are asking for.
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