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Warriors hooker Issac Luke.

Hooker Issac Luke has been declared fit to make his return from shoulder surgery this Sunday when the Warriors face the Wests Tigers, but the club will wait until the morning of the game to decide if he will be part of the final 17.

Named among the extended reserves this week, Luke made it through Saturday's captain's run unscathed, but Warriors assistant coach Todd Payten said he was no certainty to replace starting rake Nathaniel Roache or bench dummy-half Jazz Tevaga.

"The medical staff are telling us he is right to go, so he has fulfilled all the duties necessary to get on the park," Payten said ahead of the trip to Campbelltown Stadium.

"There's three [dummy-half options] and there's only two spots available. We will talk about it [Sunday] morning.

"It's been part of our debate as coaches throughout the week. Both boys [Roache and Tevaga] played really well.

Warriors hooker Issac Luke.
Warriors hooker Issac Luke. ©Keegan Carroll/NRL Photos

"'Bully' [Luke] offers that class and experience, so whichever way we go there is going to be someone disappointed."

After undergoing surgery following the Warriors' exit from the NRL Telstra Premiership finals in September, Luke sat out both of the club's pre-season trials and the round one victory over the Bulldogs.

In his absence Roache started all three games and last week was impressive in the 40-6 drubbing of the Bulldogs, scoring a try to go along with 81 run metres and 35 tackles.

Wests Tigers v Warriors - Round 2

Veteran back-rower Tohu Harris said Luke's experience would be a major boost to the side ahead of facing a Tigers outfit which includes Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall in the spine.

"With the ball they have got some dangerous players, some strong running outside backs with [Esan] Marsters and [Mahe] Fonua, and possibly having [Moses] Mbye back this week will only make them that much more dangerous," Harris said.

"They have got the halves and hooker to give them good clean ball and we have got to do a really good job to limit their effectiveness.

"[Luke] has played in a lot of big games and the opposition we are coming up against have a lot of experence too, so it does have that sort of big game feel … so that is something that's going to benefit us."

Luke was a key contributor for the Warriors last year, lining up 23 times and averaging 73 metres per game.

Last October he put pen to paper on a cut-price deal to remain in Auckland for 2019 – with the understanding that he was free to move on if a better offer came along – before the Warriors upgraded his contract in March.

The Warriors have lost all three of their most recent visits to Campbelltown Stadium, with their last win at the venue coming back in 2007.

 

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