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Ask around at the Warriors about the ever-present maze of strapping tape that consumes their captain's left knee and you'll probably be met with a wry smile and a throwaway line suggesting it's window dressing. 

It's a cheeky inside joke that everyone knows they can get away with, because if there's one thing Tohu Harris has never been it's an attention seeker.

It's only when you dig into the topic with the man himself that you get to the bottom of why, despite his insistence that he's not constantly playing injured, his knee looks like it's being held together by adhesive on a week-to-week basis.  

"It's more for my family, so they are less anxious," Harris tells

"I have had a lot of injuries, especially in my knees, and if it eases a bit of anxiety for them, as well as probably somewhere inside my head, it's doing something. 

The strapping is not needed on my knee. Structurally my knee is strong and I have done a lot of work to strengthen it.

Tohu Harris

"But the way I see it, it's not going to hurt my performance, so why not?

"It's more psychological."

That revelation will be music to the ears of Warriors fans, who can look forward to a healthy Harris playing on with the club for an eighth season in 2025, after he agreed to an extension last December. 

Not surprisingly, family was at the forefront of the decision to remain in Auckland and in all likelihood finish his career as a Warrior too. 

"It feels like home, the club feels like family, it does feel like I have been here a really long time," Harris said. 

"Our son loves it here, loves his school. Those sorts of things have really helped. 

Harris puts Ale through

"It's a place we really enjoy being and that's made by the people."

After playing 23 games last year – his most since 2016 when he was still at the Storm – the 32-year-old has made a strong start to this season and heads into Sunday's clash against the Knights sitting inside the NRL's top 20 for both average run metres (174) and average tackles (39).

This week he'll have some more help in the middle of the park, with versatile prop Marata Niukore set to play his first game of the season after recovering from a foot injury and Dylan Walker back on deck after missing Round 3 with an ankle complaint. 

That injection of class up front will be crucial against a Newcastle side missing Leo Thompson to suspension, in what will be their first visit to Go Media Stadium since the Warriors ended their season there in week two of the finals last year. 

"It's good when you've got cattle coming welcome those guys back is exciting," Warriors coach Andrew Webster said. 

Johnson: It's completely up to us

"[Marata] will play front row. Just his aggression, the way he carries the ball, hard over the [advantage] line... he gives us a lot of experience.

"I feel like anyone who comes to experience Mount Smart, particularly the way [Newcastle] did last year, they're going to be better for it, and we've got to be better."

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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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