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Vodafone Warriors hooker Nathaniel Roache is booked for surgery on a lumbar disc injury next week which is set to sideline him for the 2018 NRL season.

The 21-year-old Roache, the club’s 2016 Vodafone NRL Rookie of the Year, suffered the setback after returning from a ruptured Achilles tendon injury which ended his 2017 season in August last year.

“It’s really sad for Nate and we’re all feeling for him,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney.

“He’s a wonderful young man with a terrific attitude despite the adversity he has faced in his career.

He's a wonderful young man with a terrific attitude - Stephen Kearney

“He made an excellent recovery from his Achilles surgery only for this to happen. We wish him all the best for his surgery and we’re confident he’ll come back better than ever.”

Roache made 11 appearances in his NRL rookie season and added another nine last year before suffering his Achilles injury in training.

The Vodafone Warriors yesterday signed Gold Coast utility Karl Lawton, a 12-game NRL player, who covers a number of positions including hooker.

Meanwhile, new signing Gerard Beale continues to make progress in his recovery from the broken leg which ended his Rugby League World Cup campaign in the Kiwis’ opening match against Toa Samoa last October.

The experienced centre is expected to be available in late April.

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