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Mark Ioane and Matt Robinson (centre with trophy) and their Warriors teammates celebrate their NYC win in 2010.

After winning the 2010 National Youth Competition and delivering the Warriors their first piece of official silverware, a special group of players set their sights on first grade.

Fourteen members of the grand final-winning team (including Ben Henry who missed the decider against South Sydney through injury) have gone on to play in the NRL in the five years since; they just didn't get the opportunity to do it together.

Titans pair Mark Ioane and Matt Robinson were both starting members of that Warriors under-20s team in 2010 and return to Auckland on Saturday ready to reacquaint themselves with a club that will always hold a special place in their hearts.

Ioane's place in the Gold Coast team remains at the mercy of Nate Myles's injured calf but he concedes that having created history with the Warriors it was his dream to stay in Auckland and progress to play in the NRL there.

"I was definitely hoping to play [for the Warriors] but the thing I missed the most was our team, the team we had that year," said Ioane, who left New Zealand to link with Canberra in 2011 before joining the Titans in 2013.

"I really wanted to play for the Warriors but there were no opportunities for us with them having young props at the time with Ben Matulino and Russell Packer still in the system.

"Most of us ended up leaving and most of that team played first grade the following year or the year after, which is pretty good.

"When I left the Warriors back in 2010 I was a bit gutted that I had to leave, knowing that we'd done something special for them, being a part of that 2010 team and winning [the grand final]."

It's a similar tale for Robinson who had two years in the Warriors under-20s before graduating to the full-time NRL squad for the 2011 season where he failed to crack a first grade spot.

Although he grew up as a talented rugby union player in rugby-mad Wellington, Robinson said that once he had a taste of rugby league at 15 years of age it was his dream to play for the Warriors in the NRL.

"They were the team you followed growing up being the only New Zealand team so it was always a dream to play for them but I left after that year [2011] and went over to Penrith," Robinson told

"I had to walk away from that dream of playing [for the Warriors] but the opportunity that presented itself at Penrith was greater.

"The Warriors had a lot of depth that year in 2011 when I was in the full-time squad. They made the grand final that year so they had a lot of depth and a lot of great players and the opportunity presented itself at Penrith and I was more of a chance to play [NRL].

"We had a great group and obviously winning the grand final is pretty exciting and doing it with those boys, a lot of whom have gone on to higher honours. I think most of them have debuted in the NRL so it was a pretty special team."

Five years on and there remains just one member of that 2010 Warriors team lining up for the club at Mount Smart on Saturday, superstar halfback Shaun Johnson.

Since making his NRL debut in Round 13, 2011, Johnson was amassed 90 first grade games for the Warriors and is someone Robinson in particular is going to keep a close eye on.

"He was training full-time with the first grade squad in 2010 so he was the guy we looked up to and brought that bit of professionalism down from there and he was just a great player," Robinson recalled. "He was a star back then, even in 20s he was doing similar things to what he is doing now.

"He's a great guy. We're still friends and he's just a good guy.

"It's always a tough battle being a second-rower coming up against a good half so I'll look forward to that and seeing him out on the field."

As for a possible return to the Warriors in future, Ioane said he that would never say never with his contract at the Titans due to expire at the end of the season.

"I haven't really thought about it. I'm enjoying my time here on the Gold Coast and [returning to the Warriors] actually hasn't crossed my mind but you never know," he said.

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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