Tuimavave to leave sentiment behind - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tuimavave to leave sentiment behind

Robert Lowe 14/05/2011 01:49:00 PM Comments (0)

Prop Evarn Tuimavave still has a soft spot for the New Zealand Warriors.

A Newcastle Knight since his move from Auckland before the start of last season, he watches every match the Warriors play in the National Rugby League.

As Tuimavave, 26, noted himself, he spent roughly a third of his life at the club, getting his first-grade debut as an 18-year-old and going on to make 105 appearances.

But any sentiment will be wiped away when runs on to Newcastle's home ground of Ausgrid Stadium on Sunday to face the Warriors for the first time in the NRL.

The reception he expected from his former teammates would be "nothing less than I give them".

"Football is football," he said. "You leave everything out on the field."

Tuimavave admitted that the fixture was one he had marked on his calendar when the schedule came out.

He missed both of Newcastle's defeats to the Warriors last year because of a torn achilles tendon, which cut short his season after just 10 rounds.

"I was pretty disappointed about not playing them," he said.

"I thought I was going pretty well until then."

It was a second injury-plagued campaign in a row for Tuimavave, after 2009 with the Warriors was "a year I want to forget".

A slipped disc in his neck during a pre-season wrestling session left him stranded on 99 appearances for Warriors and he had wait until round 21 to notch up his century.

With his contract up, Tuimavave headed to Newcastle, where he was holding down a starting spot before his Achilles injury.

This year began with the honour of leading out the Knights against the Warriors in Greymouth in February in a charity match for a region hit by the Pike River mining tragedy.

But there was nothing like facing his former club in the competition proper.

"I'm really excited about running out against them," he said.

"I guess the big test will be playing them at Mt Smart Stadium, going out on their home track and seeing whatthe crowd is like."

That will come in August.

Heading into the latest round, both teams are in mid-table on 10 points, with the Warriors sneaking inside the top eight on points difference thanks to a run of five wins in six matches.

Coach Ivan Cleary has made one change to the side that dispatched the Titans on the Gold Coast last week, with hooker Aaron Heremaia, who was absent for family reasons, returning to the starting 13.

The Knights are backing up from a bye, and before that a 42-12 spanking by Melbourne.

They will be without inspirational skipper Kurt Gidley, who is sidelined with an injured shoulder, but welcome back enforcer Neville Costigan from a broken arm.

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