Warriors winger David Fusitu'a.

David Fusitu'a has revealed the nightly routine which helped him break into the Kiwis squad last year and start the 2017 as the Warriors' first-choice right centre.

Since making his NRL Telstra Premiership debut in Round 2 of the 2014 season, Fusitu'a has been in and out of the club's first-grade squad, battling a number of injuries which led to him playing only 32 of a possible 71 games over the past three years.

It was enough to make the 22-year-old rethink his entire approach to being a professional athlete. 

"I think for me it's not so much the things I do at training but more the things I do away from training, things like doing my own pool recovery or stretching before I go to bed," Fusitu'a said in the build-up to Sunday's match against the Newcastle Knights in Auckland.

"The things I do at home are massive for me, I have a little setup at home so before I go to bed I stretch and stuff like that now.

"If I feel tight on our days off then I get the roller out, just little things like that really help me out on the field.

"I feel a lot freer and I am a bit more injury free now. I need to keep that up and hopefully the injuries stay away.

"I am doing everything possible to stay on the field."

 

Even when he was fit over the last few seasons Fusitu'a was somewhat of a conundrum for former Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden; too good to leave out of the squad but not good enough to be a frontline fullback, winger or centre in the first-grade team.

He played all three positions at various stages last year, but is clear on where he sees his future.

"It [centre] is really a position where I would love to end up in and cement a spot there," Fusitu'a said.

"He (new Warriors coach Stephen Kearney) has put me in the centres to train there and use my craft there, so I am excited. He has given me the opportunity and now I have just got to take it with both hands."

From the moment he took over as the Warriors' head coach late last year, while Fusitu'a was in England for the Four Nations with the Kiwis, Kearney said he always planned to play the 191cm speedster in the centres.

"I think he can make himself into a world-class centre, but it's a journey for him," Kearney said.

"I know he has sort of been around a bit, in and out through injury, but I think as a long-term prospect he can be a very, very good centre in the NRL.

"[How good he can be] is the question he needs to ask himself. For me all the signs have been good for him. He spent December and January training in the centres…he is a real talent. 

"I have seen some real good progress from him over the last couple of months."

Fusitu'a will have pleasant memories of facing the Knights, given he scored four tries against them the last time they met in Round 14 last year, while he boasts six tries in three career games against Newcastle to date.