Lolohea to play his own way in No.1
New Warriors fullback Tuimoala Lolohea insists he won't feel pressured into emulating the style of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck when he makes his first start as a fullback in 2016.
After the Warriors lost Tuivasa-Sheck to a season-ending ruptured ACL in last week's 24-20 victory over the Bulldogs, Lolohea has been selected as the man to fill the void against the Storm on Anzac Day.
But while he shares some common attributes with Tuivasa-Sheck, Lolohea is determined to bring his own flavour to the No.1 jersey.
"Me and Roger probably have a different running style and he likes to carry and stuff, but I am just going to try and play my game and [do] what I do best," Lolohea said.
"I think that is going to be the big thing for me, just the stuff that I do well I need to stick to.
"I guess [fullback] is not something new for me, I managed to play there quite a bit last year and I have done a little bit of work at training when Roger has his little niggles, so it's not like I have just been thrown in the deep end straight away.
"I am just going to play my game and I know that 'Cappy' (coach Andrew McFadden) and them have a plan around the way I play, and I know they are going to build it into the game plan for the team."
After spending the first six games of the year on the wing, before being named at five-eighth last week only to play fullback for all but the first 15 minutes, Lolohea has produced some big numbers in attack.
Averaging 11 carries and 93 metres per game, the 21-year-old also has six line breaks and three tries to his name this season.
Speaking ahead of Monday's clash at AAMI Park in Melbourne, McFadden said that he won't move too far from the plan implemented all season, despite Lolohea having only played 33 NRL Telstra Premiership games to date.
"There are some subtleties we will probably bring in, but they (Lolohea and Tuivasa-Sheck) are similar players," McFadden said.
"Tui has probably got some strengths Roger doesn’t, and vice versa, so there will be some little minor adjustments, but generally our plan will remain similar.
"Tui, although he is inexperienced, he is a very confident young man and he has got lots of experience around him."
For Tuivasa-Sheck the ruptured ACL – which will sideline him for at least six months – is his first serious injury as a professional player.
McFadden said the news hit the 22-year-old hard, after going down in an innocuous-looking tackle inside the opening 15 minutes of the game in Wellington.
"He has been shattered, there's no doubt," McFadden said.
"The disappointment you could see in his face, he is a very happy person and a motivated person, but this is going to be a challenge for him because he hasn’t had to deal with this before.
"I know what Roger is like, he is a very strong character and he already wants to get in and do more. He has got a long recovery ahead of him, but we intend to utilise it and develop him as a player and a person."