Rugby league: Rookie Luke Metcalf named to start at five-eighth against Wests Tigers in NZ Warriors' first pre-season trial match

NZ Warriors rookie Luke Metcalf will have a chance to show his wares before the new NRL season, named to start at five-eighth in the club's first pre-season hitout against Wests Tigers.

Metcalf, 23, arrives at the Warriors with huge potential after signing from Cronulla Sharks in 2021.

Capable of playing in the halves, as well as at fullback, Metcalf will wear the No.6 jersey, paired with fellow new signing Te Maire Martin at halfback.

The fixture, albeit a pre-season trial match, is the first for new Warriors coach Andrew Webster.

Metcalf and Martin are the standout names in an otherwise inexperienced side, missing a host of first-grade regulars.

The pair will want to make the most of their chances in the halves, with fierce competition for places in a Warriors spine, also boasting the likes of Shaun Johnson and Ronald Volkman. 

Prop Bunty Afoa is the most experienced player in the side, with 108 NRL appearances, while Marcelo Montoya and Ed Kosi start on the wings. 

At fullback, Taine Tuaupiki has the chance to impress in the No.1 jersey, with return signing Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad unavailable. 

Ex-St George Illawarra Dragons pair Brayden Wiliame and Jackson Ford will start, after their off-season arrivals, taking the total of new signings to start Thursday's trial to four.

NZ Warriors: 1-Taine Tuaupiki, 2-Marcelo Montoya, 3-Brayden Wiliame, 4-Viliami Vailea, 5-Ed Kosi, 6-Luke Metcalf, 7-Te Maire Martin, 8-Bunty Afoa, 9-Freddy Lussick, 10-Tom Ale, 11-Jackson Ford, 12-Demitric Sifakula, 13-Michael Sio

Interchange: 14-Maiu'u Zyon, 15-Sanele Aukustino, 16-Ali Leiataua, 17-Jacob Laban, 18-Moala Graham-Taufua, 20-Kalani Going, 21-Eiden Ackland, 22-Ben Farr, 23-Isaiah Vagana, 24-Solomon Vasuvulagi, 25-Paul Roache