You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Euan Aitken at Warriors pre-season training.

Warriors recruit Euan Aitken could form a damaging partnership with winger Ken Maumalolo after training inside him at left centre ahead of round one.

Aitken, who played six years at the Dragons, said he'd spent time on both edges in the pre-season but had recently been paired with Maumalolo, who averaged 187 metres in eight games last year.

And given 25-year-old Aitken has a reputation as a strong runner, averaging a career-best 150m per game in 2020, he and Maumalo may have the chance to dent defences as a one-two punch combination.

Peta Hiku was the team's right centre for much of the previous campaign, while David Fusitu'a appears likely to rejoin him on that flank.

"Lately, I've been working with Ken Maumalo so it's been pretty good," Aitken said on Thursday from the Central Coast.

"He's a big lad and our sets will definitely get started well with those two boys at the back, Fus [Fusitu'a] included.

"It's good to work with someone that size and you feel protected on the edge in defence," he added of Maumalo.

Ken Maumalo at Warriors pre-season training.
Ken Maumalo at Warriors pre-season training. ©Emma Steed /photosport.nz

"When people like that get the sets started, it makes your job a lot easier. You get on the back of them and create some metres as well and keep the momentum going forward for the forwards.

"Hopefully they don't have to do as much work so they can be powerhouses at the right end of the field."

With the Warriors selflessly based on the Central Coast last season due to COVID-19 restrictions, Maumalo and Fusitu'a returned home to New Zealand in July for family reasons.

Aitken said the duo was in good order as they prepare to return to the field in a trial against Melbourne for players who featured in fewer than 12 matches last year. Fusitu'a played seven games.

"I think they're refreshed and obviously their fitness levels have increased over the pre-season," Aitken said.

"I think they're raring to go and they get that first crack next weekend [February 20 at Redcliffe] for the trials. I think that's going to be beneficial for the year to come with match fitness as well."

Reflecting on his final season with St George Illawarra, Aitken felt he set a solid platform to build on under new coach Nathan Brown.

"I thought I was putting my energy and focus into the game and turning up every week to play consistently," he said.

"That's what you try to aim for. Obviously, the results weren't going our way which always is a letdown in that sense.

"I think if I keep that same attitude and focus, I can improve with this side. Hopefully, being in a side of our calibre, if we can connect together as a team, I think we can go a long way."

Warriors in 2021

To participate in the survey, you must be logged in to your NRL account.

Sign Up

Already have an NRL Account? Log In

Sign up to a FREE NRL Account and unlock this content. Creating an NRL Account is easy and will give you access to NRLTV, featured editorials, special ticketing offers, free competitions and much more.

Not sure? Learn more about an NRL Account.