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One New Zealand Warriors half Luke Metcalf is facing a solid stint on the side-line with a serious hamstring injury.

The 23-year-old, who impressed in last week’s trial win over the Wests Tigers, has been ruled out of Sunday’s Preseason Challenge encounter with the Storm in Christchurch after being named on an extended bench.

One New Zealand Warriors head of performance Balin Cupples said Metcalf suffered the injury to his right hamstring in training.

While further information and scans were needed, he said early expectations indicated a “lengthy period of time on the side-line”.

Metcalf is one of four squad members unavailable for the club’s final trial ahead of the first-round encounter with Newcastle in Wellington on March 3.

Young prop Valingi Kepu has been ruled out for the season following an “unfortunate injury” when he was caught under his weight and that of his opponent in a wrestling session last month. Cupples said Kepu had suffered a severe Left foot Lisfranc injury which required season-ending surgery.

Seasoned forward Jazz Tevaga is in line for a return in the early rounds of the season. After missing the last five games of the 2022 season, he had been rehabilitating well from a left shoulder reconstruction. However, a hernia late last year stalled his progress ruling him out of the trials and the start of the season.

It’s anticipated centre Rocco Berry will also return in the early rounds after breaking a bone in his left foot in a training session last month.

With young second rower Demitric Sifakula upgraded to the fulltime NRL squad today, the One New Zealand Warriors have filled 28 of their top 30 spots but have only 24 players available this weekend.


Rocco Berry Foot Early rounds
Valingi Kepu Foot Season
Luke Metcalf Hamstring TBC
Jazz Tevaga Shoulder/hernia Early rounds
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