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Cool head a lifelong trait for Harris-Tavita

As he prepares for the Warriors' biggest game of the year on Friday night, rookie Chanel Harris-Tavita's unshakeable demeanour continues to impress those around him.  

With Kodi Nikorima missing due to an ankle injury, Harris-Tavita will make his seventh start at Telstra Premiership level against the Manly Sea Eagles.

There is plenty riding on the result.

A loss to the in-form Sea Eagles will end any realistic hope the Warriors have of making the finals and would be a record seventh-straight defeat at Mount Smart Stadium.

Harris-Tavita, 20, appeared unfazed when quizzed about those topics this week, and dad Jason told his son has never been one to be impacted by the noise around him.

"He doesn't let anything faze him, it comes out in his demeanour and he's pretty relaxed," Jason told

"He always been pretty quiet and calm, and he is like that off the field as well.

Warriors v Sea Eagles - Round 21

"He's a real competitor on the field, but he doesn't let anything shake him. He doesn't feel any pressure.

"He trains real hard and I think he goes into games knowing he's done all he can to prepare himself, and I guess that makes him calmer on the field."

After coming off the bench 20 minutes into last week's 46-12 drubbing at the hands of the Canberra Raiders, Harris-Tavita scored all of his side's points.

Warriors forward Isaiah Papali'i said the fact Harris-Tavita plays without fear is his biggest strength.

You could feel his presence as soon as he came on the field last week

Isaiah Papali'i talks about Chanel Harris-Tavita

"Chanel's not afraid to try things, I think that's his best quality," Papali'i told

"I don't think I had that confidence in my first year ... everyone makes errors, but as a half you have got to shake that off as quick as you can.

"They have to be confident coming into this environment because they are looked to as leaders straight away.

"He's got that in his game and that's what works for him and helps that confidence.

"You could feel his presence as soon as he came on the field last week."

After being dropped to reserve grade when the Warriors signed Nikorima in May, Harris-Tavita has come back into the frame over the last month and played the last four games in a row.

He spoke of his excitement about coming up against current Australia and Queensland No.7 Daly Cherry-Evans, who was among his childhood idols.

"I look up to a lot of players that are playing in the NRL at the moment and Cherry-Evans is one of them," Harris-Tavita said.

Warriors forward Isaiah Papali'i
Warriors forward Isaiah Papali'i ©NRL Photos

"He's a great ballplayer and he knows how to lead a team around, so it's pretty exciting [to play him].

"He's a bit of an all-rounder really, good runner of the ball and solid on defence and he can pick a team apart when he's on."

And while most of the Warriors' squad singled him out as a shining light in the loss to Canberra last week, Harris-Tavita said he's eyeing improvements in his game against Manly.       

"I've got to improve everywhere to be honest ... last week I missed five tackles and kicked a seven-tackle set in the set after my try, so lots to work on," Harris-Tavita said.

"It felt good to get a couple of tries last week [though]."

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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