Winger Manu Vatuvei, who will miss the Warriors’ last trial with a thigh injury, says he should be fine for the round-one NRL match against Parramatta.
Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei expects to be right for the NRL’s opening round, which he will head into without a pre-season match.
Vatuvei looked set to play in the Warriors’ final trial against Brisbane in Dunedin on Sunday, with coach Matthew Elliott aiming to put out his strongest line-up.
But the giant winger is carrying a thigh injury and isn’t being risked.
Elliott says both Vatuvei and centre Dane Nielsen, who will sit out with a minor leg problem, would have played if there were competition points on the line.
Vatuvei wanted to front up against the Broncos, a match he felt could be a barometer for the Warriors’ prospects early in the season.
He says his priority now is to make sure he gets into the side to face Parramatta in Sydney on March 9.
“I should be OK for the first round, but I just want to focus on making the team,” Vatuvei said.
“I have to train hard and make sure I’m right and show I’m ready.”
Vatuvei said he picked up the quadriceps injury in training a fortnight ago and still felt some tightness when he ran this week.
The 27-year-old, the Warriors’ record try-scorer with 118 in 171 appearances, is into his 11th season with the club.
An ankle injury meant he sat out the start of 2013, but he came back to top the Warriors’ try list again with 16.
With Elliott starting his second season in charge after the club’s coaching upheaval of 2012, Vatuvei said there was a more settled feel to their preparations this year.
“The vibe around the team is awesome, but we won’t know how everything will go until the season pans out,” he said.