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Rebuilt Warriors right edge ready to fire

AAP logoAAP 6 days ago Daniel Gilhooly

Warriors player David Fusitu'a looks on during a team training session ahead of Week 1 of the NRL Finals Series at Mt Smart Stadium, in Auckland, New Zealand © AAP Warriors player David Fusitu'a looks on during a team training session ahead of Week 1 of the NRL Finals Series at Mt Smart Stadium, in Auckland, New Zealand The most lethal right edge in the NRL has been dismantled but winger David Fusitu'a believes the Warriors are now freed up to fire on both sides.

Fusitu'a was the competition's leading tryscorer in 2018 with 23 tries from 23 games, more often than not on the back of some fluent work inside.

The Kiwi club's right edge laid on a competition-high 42 tries, often sparked by halfback Shaun Johnson or some timely passes from second-rower Tohu Harris or centre Pita Hiku.

Johnson has left for Cronulla while Harris and Hiku will line up on the left side in Saturday's opener against the Canterbury Bulldogs in Auckland.

It isn't yet clear whether Blake Green or fellow-half Adam Keighran will be stationed on the right, with Keighran having only recently been certified as Johnson's starting replacement.

However, Fusitu'a is satisfied with the combination established over the off-season with experienced pair Adam Blair and Solomone Kata inside him.

"It's exciting, we've been working hard on those combinations on attack and defence on both sides of the park," Fusitu'a said.

"We'll go into this weekend with a lot of confidence in our game structure."

Coach Stephen Kearney is equally confident the transition will be seamless.

Harris was a left second-rower for four seasons at the Melbourne Storm while Kata played most of his junior football on the opposite edge, only switching when Konrad Hurrell locked down the Warriors right centre berth.

Kata ran strongly last year but was often accused of failing to link effectively. He was also caught out defensively at times.

It prompted a plea to Kearney early in the off-season.

"Sol demanded that he go to the right edge. He wanted to go and work on the right-hand side with his fellow-Tongan teammate in David," Kearney said.

"I thought 'that sounds pretty good, they've got a closeness there'. It's working out ok."

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