Tough NRL road trip to Auckland for Te'o - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tough NRL road trip to Auckland for Te'o

By Wayne Heming 25/03/2009 06:12:43 PM Comments (0)

Young forward Ben Te'o has prepared himself mentally to cope with an emotional return home when Brisbane tackle the Warriors in Auckland on Saturday night.

The 22 year-old former Wests Tiger expects memories of his good friend Sonny Fai to come flooding back when he plays for the Broncos in front of his extended family at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium.

Fai, 20, a rising star for the Warriors, drowned in January after being swept out to sea at Bethells Beach in West Auckland while trying to save family members caught in a rip.

His tragic death rocked the rugby league community and the Warriors who held high hopes for his future as an international player.

Te'o was unable to attend a special memorial service for Fai at the beach where he disappeared because it was held just days before Brisbane's first game of the NRL season against North Queensland.

He and Fai came through the Warriors junior system together.

They were teammates for the Junior Kiwis before going their separate ways a few years ago.

"I have a job to do for Brisbane first but after that I will be able to reflect on things and pay my respects," Te'o told AAP before the team headed to New Zealand.

"It will bring back lots of memories but I can keep them separated and shut out my personal thoughts during the game and not let them affect me.

"Once the game is out of the way and I've done my job, then I want to go and see his plaque at the beach.

"I imagine it will be a tough day."

Te'o, recruited from the Wests Tigers to help cover the loss of crash-tackling lock Tonie Carroll, said the Warriors were a team on a mission in 2009.

"They've got a lot of causes to play for," he said.

"They've got Pricey's (Steve Price) 300th and also Sonny's memory and Stacey's (Stacey Jones') comeback."

Brisbane could lose prop Nick Kenny and centre Michael DeVere to hamstring injuries when coach Ivan Henjak finalises his travelling squad to Auckland on Thursday.

Kenny and DeVere did some straight line running on Wednesday but both would be considered doubtful for such a long trip and physical encounter.

The good news was that young winger Jharal Yow Yeh completed Wednesday's training session dispelling concerns over a foot injury while Lagi Setu (sternum) also looks likely to make the trip.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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