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Warriors centre Solomone Kata.

The move of Solomone Kata to the right edge for the New Zealand Warriors' final trial match was more than a pre-season experiment, with the centre confirming it will be a permanent move for 2019.

Having lined up at left centre in almost all of his 87 NRL Telstra Premiership appearances to date, in addition to earning Test honours for New Zealand in the position, Kata will switch to the right this year to team up with prolific winger and Mate Ma'a Tonga teammate David Fusitu'a.

Speaking to, Kata said a chance conversation with assistant coach Stacey Jones during the pre-season was the catalyst for the change.

"We were doing [a drill] under fatigue and they put me on the right, everyone was jumping in [different positions]… Stacey said to me after training, 'you looked more comfortable on the right'," Kata said.

"I went home and they asked me the next morning if I felt more comfortable on the right, and I said yes.

"I already know I feel more comfortable on the right. I already know what I can do there and what I am capable of.

"I feel comfortable on the right because when I step my left foot is stronger, and I can carry the ball with my right hand and use my left to fend.

"I am looking forward to it and I am pretty sure I am ready for it."

Warriors season preview - NRL Teams

Having played predominantly on the right edge through his teenage years, it was an injury to frontline left centre Ngani Laumape which paved the way for Kata to nail down a spot on opposite side in his debut season at NRL level back in 2015.

"Ngani Laumape was on the left, but then he got injured and was out for the season, so I had to fill the gap," Kata said.

"It was my first year and I really wanted to play, so I stepped up there."

Last year Kata appeared in 23 of the Warriors' 25 games, scoring 12 tries and averaging over 100 metres per game.

It was enough to see him earn a fifth Test cap for Tonga, where he was among the island nation's try-scorers in their historic clash with the Kangaroos in Auckland last October.

Jones, who coached Kata at under 20 level in 2014, said early signs pointed to a smooth transition to the right, adding that his versatility would be a major boost for the club's backline stocks.

"He's looking good now and getting involved… he's got a real good connection with both our wingers and Roger [Tuivasa-Sheck]," Jones told

"He's a player that brings a lot of energy. When he's talking more than most players on the field, we are generally going pretty good.

"When you have got a bit of versatility there it's certainly going to help."

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