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Cool hand Luke set to return against former team

Experienced hooker Issac Luke appears certain to return to face his former team on Saturday, as the Warriors look to establish continuity in the all-important spine.

Luke missed last week's victory over the Gold Coast with a hamstring complaint but travelled to the Sunshine Coast with the team on Thursday, along with prop Bunty Afoa who has been declared fit to take on the Rabbitohs after suffering concussion in round four.

The return of former Rabbitohs cult hero Luke would be timely for the Warriors, who have already used seven players at the key positions of fullback, five-eighth, halfback and hooker.

Of those seven players used, four of them have less than 25 first-grade games to their name.

Assistant coach Stacey Jones said Luke's experience would be a welcome boost.

"[Issac] will come away with us and hopefully get through captain's run … we will make that decision after our final session," Jones said.

Warriors hooker Issac Luke.
Warriors hooker Issac Luke. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

"He's looking really good … that'll be up to Stephen Kearney what he decides. He might think he needs another week.

"Him being around the group as an experienced player is going to help us.

"It's not ideal [to have had so many changes to the spine]. Once you get a bit of consistency there then hopefully you see some consistency in the way we attack.

"Obviously the dummy-half area has been a bit disrupted for us and that's where it all starts. You have got to get some good continuity there around the ruck."

After an impressive debut outing from Chanel Harris-Tavita last week, which included 74 run metres, a line break and 158 kick metres, Jones said the coaching staff want to see more of the same from the 20-year-old against the fourth-placed Rabbitohs.

"His second half was really good. He carried the ball a bit but took pressure off with the kicking game," Jones said.

"We just want him to be involved as much as he can.

"I think the big job for him is going to be defence this week. [Sam] Burgess will be coming at him, but he knows that."

The Warriors head into round five equal-second in the NRL in completion rate (80%). Last week against the Titans last week they completed 30 of 33 sets with the ball.

Centre Solomone Kata told reaching those numbers again would be crucial against South Sydney.

"There's a focus on completions, doing every set right, and if we do that then we will be sweet," Kata said.

"The completion rate is going to be really important, it's what 'Mooks' [Kearney] and all of the coaching staff have been talking about."


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