Winger Misi Taulapapa will become the Warriors' second first-grade debutant in three games when he lines up against South Sydney in Saturday night's NRL encounter at Ericsson Stadium.
The 24-year-old will be the third player used on the left wing this month with Kiwi international Manu Vatuvei and Patrick Ah Van both sidelined with injury.
Vatuvei (20) is still recovering from the hamstring injury that forced him out of the April 9 clash against Manly.
That allowed Ah Van (18) to make his debut against the Sea Eagles but he was forced off the field with a shoulder injury only 14 minutes into Saturday night's loss to the Canberra Raiders. Damage to the AC joint in his left shoulder is expected to keep him out of action for four weeks.
"It's unfortunate for Patrick because he handled himself well in his start at this level," said Warriors coach Ivan Cleary.
"Misi has an opportunity now on the strength of his form in the Bartercard Cup.
"He had a slow start to the year after being troubled by a stress fracture in his foot but he's been going well for the Auckland Lions lately."
Like Ah Van, Taulapapa is a product of the Warriors' Allied Work Force elite development programme. He travelled to Perth as 18th man for the Warriors' match against the Cronulla Sharks last May.
Taulapapa switched to rugby league from rugby union in 2004, turning out for Marist Richmond Brothers in the Bartercard Cup and making the New Zealand A side that year.
He'll become the 130th first grader in the Warriors' 12-year history on Saturday night and there's a possibility that number will grow to 131 with Sam Rapira, another graduate of the Allied Work Force elite development programme, named on a six-man bench for the South Sydney match.
Apart from Taulapapa replacing Ah Van, Cleary named the same starting line-up used against Canberra with Grant Rovelli at standoff and Sione Faumuina due to come off the bench. It had been hoped 2005 Kiwi Jerome Ropati would be able to return from the hamstring injury that ruled him out of the last two games against Manly and Canberra.
Cleary doesn't see anything easy about the clash against the Rabbitohs, the only side yet to win a match in the 2006 competition after losing 18-26 to the Bulldogs on Monday.
"I thought they went really well against the Dogs and they'll be desperate against us," said Cleary.
Meanwhile, two other promising players will be back in first-grade contention for the Warriors shortly.
Simon Mannering, the club's 2005 rookie of the year, scored two tries for the Wellington Orcas in their Bartercard Cup win over Harbour League on Sunday.
It was Mannering's first game of the year after an extended lay-off with a stress fracture in his leg. And 18-year-old back rower Sonny Fai is closer to a playing return after shoulder surgery in the off-season.
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