A lifetime before ‘Up the Wahs’! The 2020 round one Warriors – Where are they now?

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BY CURTIS WOODWARD

@woodward_curtis

The New Zealand Warriors travelled to Newcastle for their opening round game of the 2020 season knowing that at any minute, the COVID pandemic could change everything.

After their 20-0 loss to the Knights, the New Zealand government announced restrictions that would force the Warriors into a 14-day quarantine period if they returned home.

Players made a decision that would keep the NRL season alive.

Round 1 Warriors team, 2020 – where are they now:

FULLBACK: ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK

Left the Warriors in 2021 and returned to New Zealand and signed with the Auckland Blues. Played three games for the All Blacks but has since signed to return to the Warriors in 2024.

WING: PATRICK HERBERT

Joined Gold Coast in 2021 and released from his contract in early 2023.

CENTRE: DAVID FUSITU’A

Struggled for consistency during the lockdown period and only managed a handful of games during 2020 and 2021 before asking for a release from his deal to join with English giants, Leeds Rhinos.

PETA HIKU

The Kiwi International linked with the Cowboys for the 2022 season, playing 48 games for the Townsville club. Headed to Hull KR next season.

KEN MAUMALO

Barnstorming winger who was one of the premier wingers in the NRL at his best but Maumalo was one of several Warriors players to leave the bubble midway through 2020 to return to Auckland. Played 11 more games for the Warriors before making an immediate transfer to Wests Tigers. Is reportedly being shopped by his current club, Gold Coast Titans.

CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA

Young star who announced he was stepping away from the game in 2023 to focus on traveling and writing. Returns to the club in 2024.

BLAKE GREEN

Released by the Warriors to join Newcastle in August, 2020. The current attacking coach at the Knights under Adam O’Brien.

LEESON AH MAU

Retired at the tender age of 31 to return to his young family at the end of the 2021 season under the pressures of living overseas in the side’s QLD bubble.

WAYDE EGAN

Part of the current team’s fairy tale run and has been one of the form hookers of the NRL in 2023.

LACHLAN BURR

Forced into retirement at the Cowboys in February 2022 due to a chronic hip injury.

ADAM BLAIR

Kiwi legend who called time on his career at the end of the grueling 2020 season. Currently a pathways coach at the club and has several jobs in local media. Appointed a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2021.

TOHU HARRIS

One of the inspirational leaders of the 2023 Warriors – one win away from a grand final appearance.

ISAIAH PAPALI’I

Currently plying his trade at the Wests Tigers.

KODI NIKORIMA

An unsung hero of Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins in their first season, filling several positions across the field in 2023.

JAMAYNE TAUNOA-BROWN

An impressive 2023 with the Cowboys saw the middle forward rewarded with a contract extension.

ELIESA KATOA

One of the signings of the season down at the Storm. Clashes with the Panthers on Friday night at Accor Stadium.

KING VUNIYAYAWA

Debuted for Fiji before making his first grade debut. Appeared in the first five games of the 2020 season but wasn’t sighted in the NRL again. Currently playing in the Super League for Salford.

@woodward_curtis

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