The Warriors have been hit by another injury just before the season starts, with Sam Lousi joining an injury list that's been steadily building over the past few weeks.
Warriors coach Matt Elliott today revealed that Lousi injured his foot in last weekend's 32-18 loss to Penrith in Hamilton and that the second rower could be out for two months.
"He has got a stress fracture in his foot and that's a six to eight-week loss for us," Elliott said.
"I feel sad for Sam, he's worked really hard during the pre-season and he's a player possibly going forward who can give us something a bit unique.
"He has got some surgery coming up and then we'll get back to work with him."
This injury follows the one to his older brother, Sione, who is out for six months after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament in the club's first trial, against Gold Coast a week and a half ago.
Hooker Nathan Friend won't play until April because of an operation recently to repair nerve damage on his shoulder.
Ben Henry was the other player under an injury cloud from the Panthers game and he will be sidelined for a couple of weeks with an ankle sprain.
The Warriors play their final trial game against Brisbane Broncos in Dunedin on Saturday and although there are no competition points up for grabs it is a must-win game for the team.
Having lost their last eight games in 2012 and both of this season's trials, Elliott admits that the team needs to get a win before the season starts, away to Parramatta Eels on March 9.
"It would be naïve not to acknowledge that that's an issue for us," he said.
"We have got to create some new habits, the habits of discipline and high level preparation, but they don't mean anything unless you're winning.
"The next habit we need to start is winning, it does place some importance on this trial, there's no doubt that.
"We're not going to put ourselves into a position to win games unless we play like we've been preparing. Our preparation has been fantastic, so we need to see that come out on the field."
Elliott took some of the blame for the defeat to the Panthers last weekend, because he said he set the side up in the wrong structure.
But he believes it isn't something that's hard to put right and already this week has worked on fixing things up.
"I have certainly had a chat with the halves about it and our systems of play are also reliant on people making sure they're in position," he said.
"There was some individual accountability which needed to be addressed and we done that yesterday.
"Also there is some recognition that early in the season we need to be clear on what people's jobs are. Even though we've done a full pre-season, it's down to really re-enforcing that now."
Elliott said he was close to knowing who the 17 to play against the Eels would be, but there were still some spots that won't be determined until after this weekend's game in Dunedin.
"I don't think we're far off," he said.
"There are a few guys that have really stuck their hand up and there are a couple of guys that are coming to the stage they need to take their opportunity in this last trial, to make sure they're putting themselves in the frame."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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