NRL: NZ Warriors want victory over North Queensland Cowboys to celebrate skipper Tohu Harris' 200th match

The significance of NZ Warriors captain Tohu Harris isn't taken lightly by his coach and teammates, as he prepares for his 200th NRL match this weekend.

Since his NRL debut in 2013, Harris has been one of the league's standout players by any available metric.

Across five seasons with the all-conquering Melbourne Storm, Harris played more than 100 games, winning the NRL in 2017 before a move to New Zealand with the Warriors.

So far, Harris has played 82 games for the Warriors, including being named as the league's second rower of the year in 2020 and was named club captain after Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's return to rugby union.

While the 2023 campaign has just begun, Harris has already picked up where he left off - making 111 tackles in just two games.

Tohu Harris.
Tohu Harris. Photo credit: Photosport

Just two games into the new season, Harris sits second on the NRL's Dally M medallist leaderboard, with seven points - only one behind Redcliffe Dolphins fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.

On Saturday, Harris will join a distinguished club of those to have played 200 games, when the Warriors run out against North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville.

For coach Andrew Webster, who backed Harris to continue as club captain, bringing up 200 games is a reflection of a player he'd previously only admired from afar.

"It's special for me in a lot of ways, and really special for the club," said Webster. "I've only worked with Tohu this pre-season, I'd only met him once before coming to the club.

"How motivated he's been the whole pre-season for the club to have success, one thing I've learned about Tohu is he's really hungry for that.

"He's a super competitive guy. Shaun [Johnson] spoke to the group today about how he can't believe a guy can be so tough on the field, particularly when it's 'go'.

"It's not something he enjoys, but he wants to do it because he wants to win, wants to do it for his teammates.

"[It's] very special. In a short space of time, I feel like I've been working with him for ages."

Harris' influence on the club and his teammates extends off the field as well.

For winger Marcelo Montoya, Harris was a key figure in helping him settle into the club after having to relocate to Auckland after living in Sydney with Canterbury Bulldogs.

Now, the Warriors' squad wants to make sure they honour their captain in style, with a victory in his milestone match. 

"Tohu's been massive," said Montoya. "Before I got here, he's massive for the club, then when I got here, he's been massive for me and my wife.

"That support has been massive, he means a lot to me.

"I know the boys will be willing to turn up on Saturday and do a job for him, for sure."

The Warriors are currently seventh on the NRL ladder, with one victory and one defeat from their opening two matches of the new season.