Tate to skipper Warriors against Dogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tate to skipper Warriors against Dogs

06/04/2010 03:30:46 PM Comments (0)

Centre Brent Tate has become the Warriors' newest captain after a hand injury ruled Micheal Luck out of the NRL match against the Bulldogs in Sydney on Saturday.

Tate, 28, learned of his elevation on Tuesday as his brother-in-law and former Warriors captain Steve Price announced he will retire at the end of this season.

Team doctor John Mayhew said Luck, who led the side against Gold Coast in round one and Manly last Sunday, had broken his right index finger.

"He had problems with the hand on Sunday and X-rays after the game confirmed he has a break in the finger," he said.

"He'll have this week off to give the injury time to settle down."

With official captain Simon Mannering also sidelined by a hamstring injury, Tate will become the third player to lead the side in the first five games of the 2010 campaign.

"I feel so honoured to be given the chance to lead the club," he said.

"I haven't captained a side in the past but I'm really excited about doing the job against the Bulldogs. I'm going to enjoy the experience."

Coach Ivan Cleary said Tate had all the qualities needed to lead the side in the absence of the club's other captaincy options.

"Brent's a tremendous leader in his own right," he said.

"He's one of our senior players and this responsibility will sit well with him. He'll revel in the role."

Tate takes on the task at a time when the Warriors are set to field one of the least experienced forward packs in the club's history.

With Luck's 178 appearances missing, there will not be one forward with 100 NRL appearances or more to his name.

The most experienced will be prop Sam Rapira, who turns 23 on Thursday, with 90 games to his name and back rower Jacob Lillyman with 88. Ranked next in number of appearances is front rower Jesse Royal, who plays his 49th match on Saturday, while the rest of the forwards range from Russell Packer's 30 games down to recalled Ukuma Ta'ai with just 10.

With Luck out, Ben Matulino moves off the bench to join Lewis Brown in the second row while Lillyman switches to loose forward.

Ta'ai, who has been playing for the Auckland Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup, will make his first NRL appearance of the season.

"We seem to be getting tested on the injury front every week but that's just the way it goes," Cleary said.

Apart from Luck, Mannering and Price, others still injured include winger Manu Vatuvei, first-choice halfback Brett Seymour, Isaac John, Shaun Johnson and Elijah Taylor.

Both teams go into Saturday's game following last-up defeats, the Warriors losing 6-24 to Manly on Sunday and the Bulldogs going down 16-38 to South Sydney on Monday night.

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