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Warriors NRL centre's big potential: coach

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/03/2017 Angelo Risso

David Fusitu'a of the Warriors unsuccessfully attempts to score a try. © Robert Prezioso/Getty Images David Fusitu'a of the Warriors unsuccessfully attempts to score a try. Warriors young gun David Fusitu'a has the potential to become one of the finest centres in the world, according to new boss Stephen Kearney.

The robust 22-year-old has flitted across the Warriors backline since his 2014 NRL debut but appears to have found a permanent home in the No.3 jumper in 2017.

He's trained at right centre in pre-season and will take to the field there in Sunday's round one NRL fixture against the Knights, paired with newly-minted winger Tuimoala Lolohea.

Tongan-born centre partner Solomone Kata, meanwhile, will look to forge a partnership with Ken Maumalo down the left edge.

Kearney didn't mince words when quizzed on Fusitu'a, telling reporters on Wednesday he had all the power, speed and talent to lead the NRL in his position.

But the two-cap Kiwi wasn't there yet.

"For me, all the signs have been good for him (but) it's a journey for all the individuals about how far they want to take themselves in terms of maximising their talent," Kearney said.

"I think he can make himself into a world-class centre."

Fusitu'a, for his part, was simply grateful to be chosen in his favoured centre position.

He hoped he could stay at No.3 for most of the 2017 campaign but knew his versatility may require him to fill gaps elsewhere.

"It's really a position where I'd love to end up and cement myself," Fusitu'a told NZN.

"But last year injuries happened, and if things happen you can't do anything about it.

"Stephen's given me the opportunity and I have to take it with both hands."

Bursting onto the scene with seven tries in 12 games in 2014, Fusitu'a struggled through an injury-plagued 2015 before returning to fitness and form last year.

Playing at fullback, wing or centre, the one-time Tonga representative made 17 appearances and scored 11 tries in 2016 as his side slumped to 10th.

Fusitu'a said his long 2015 injury lay-off with shoulder and knee problems had taught him the art of post-training body management.

"Doing my own pool recovery or stretching before I go to bed, if I feel tired on my days off I'll get the roller out, things like that," Fusitu'a said.

"I feel a lot freer now so I'll keep that up."

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