Warriors hooker Issac Luke.

Luke raises 250 in style and sets sights on 300

Issac Luke is chuffed to be on the cusp of his 250th NRL appearance and already eyeing off the magical 300, although he remains unsure whether that milestone will be raised in a Warriors jersey.

The off-contract hooker's left calf clearly wasn't the only thing on ice as he fronted the media to discuss the future – both immediate and beyond September's play-offs – leading into his milestone game against Newcastle at Mt Smart Stadium on Friday night.

Luke joined the Warriors from South Sydney in 2016 and has reiterated his desire to remain in Auckland in 2019.

"I think I've expressed enough that I want to stay but again it's up to the club and my manager and I'll let them figure that out," Luke said.

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney's retort to the ongoing contract negotiations was enigmatic at best. The short answer to a drawn-out response was, to paraphrase, that the club is on it, and well, continue to watch this space.

"I'm not too worried. I'm just happy to be able to play football, happy with how I'm going," Luke insisted.

So it's not a distraction just four rounds before the finals?

"I've got a lot more distractions off the field than I have on the field. I've got five kids ... they take my mind off a lot of things, you go home and I just want to reset, get away from football and I get to do that."

Issac Luke shares in the Rabbitohs' 2014 grand final celebrations.
Issac Luke shares in the Rabbitohs' 2014 grand final celebrations.

What neither party is dismissing is Luke's contribution to the Warriors' 12-8 record, nor how important the Kiwis rake will be in keeping the inconsistent team inside the top eight and potentially even creeping into the top four.

"It's definitely up there," Luke said when asked if he's in the form of his career.

"I think that just shows where the team [the Warriors] is going. If the team is going well and the forward back is going well, guys like me that pass from dummy half have a field day.

"My forwards are getting the best out of each other and competing to be in the team every week so it's helping my job."

Kearney reflected on the 31-year-old's debut for the Rabbitohs against the Storm when he was an assistant to Crag Bellamy in round 12 of 2007 at Olympic Park.

The Storm's chief scout at the time didn't rate Luke's defensive ability but after he'd unceremoniously upended Melbourne prop Jeff Lima twice, any doubts about his ticker went out the window.

"I remember that night and to see him go on and obviously play a significant part in South Sydney's march to a premiership [Luke missed the 2014 grand final through suspension] and also his contribution to the New Zealand jumper [37 Tests], it's been a real credit to him," Kearney said.

Warriors fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
Warriors fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

"By his own standards I reckon the last couple of years for him are not his best but the way he's gathered himself together and worked on what he's needed to work on to give himself a positive season is a credit to his application.

"I know it hasn't been easy work for him and I know he's been very, very well supported by a partner in Mickayela who has helped keep him in line because he definitely needs to be kept in line."

Luke believes his understanding with five-eighth Blake Green, halfback Shaun Johnson and fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is "getting there" as the combination had often been split up by injuries.

"Blake brings a lot of experience and when you just let Shaun run, he's an unreal player to play with. And we managed to help that with Roger on the weekend," he said in reference to the captain's standout display in the 18-12 win over the Dragons.

"Like the team we're building as a spine and ... every game counts."

Luke is keen to be part of that building process.

"I had a Iittle talk about it at my 200th game that I wanted to get to 250 and now hopefully I can get to 300," he says.

"That's definitely a goal I want to get to but I'm just focused on the weekend and what we can produce. We haven't won at home for a while now so that's out big focus."