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Young hooker Siliva Havili will return to the Warriors side in Round 12.

Over the last 12 months Siliva Havili has experienced the very best and worst of what life as a professional rugby league player can throw up.

Through that period he had joy of an NRL debut for his hometown club at 21 years of age, the shock of a Test call up for the Kiwis just three games later, and then the frustration of spending the rest of the time stuck in reserve grade battling niggling injuries.

To cap it all off his club then proceeded to sign one of the world's best players in his position for the next three years.

"I found it pretty hard myself, it's going to be hard for me to get any game time, I have to say that," Havili said when asked about his reaction to Issac Luke's signing earlier this month.

"I was frustrated things didn’t pan out for me, but that’s just footy.

"I understand that and we will just see how things go for the rest of the year and go from there.   

"I have been with Issac Luke in the Kiwis camp and he is a great player to play alongside and learn with."


Contracted through until the end of the 2016 season, with an option for 2017 in the club's favour, the next year will make or break Havili's hopes of a future at the Warriors.

This weekend against the Knights at Mt Smart Stadium Havili will make his seventh NRL appearance – and his first for this year – assuming the bench hooking role after Thomas Leuluai was ruled out for the remainder of the season with a ruptured ACL.

"It's been a real long time actually, a fair while since my last NRL game," 22-year-old Havili said.

"This is the opportunity I have been waiting for.

"It has been frustrating, but I can't complain because they are two good frontline hookers who were ahead of me in Nathan Friend and Thomas Leuluai.

"It's helped my mindset having the bye before this week's game, it's given me time to think about my role and what I can do.

"It all goes on performance at our club. If I play well I stay there."

Coach Andrew McFadden said it had been a tough period for Havili, but that his talent was undeniable.

"It's probably been a difficult one for him given that he played for the Kiwis and has had to bide his time in NSW Cup," McFadden said.

"He has had his moments where he has got frustrated, but that's what young kids do.

"Siliva has his own quality about him, he has had to wait to take his opportunity, he has got it now and I am sure he can add some real value to us.

"At this stage he sits behind Issac [for the 2016 hooking role], and a bit of the reason he sits there is that in the modern game it is a real value to have an 80-minute hooker, and Siliva would admit he can't get through 80 minutes of first grade.

"That's the level he is trying to get to… that's where he is aiming, and if he gets there then he certainly has a bigger future than he already has. 

"He has got the potential, now it's time to put it out on the field." 

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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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