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Nathaniel Roache injury 'a real tragedy' says Warriors coach Stephen Kearney

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney sees no signs that luckless hooker Nathaniel Roache will throw in the towel on his NRL career after suffering yet another calamitous injury.

One of the rising stars of the code in New Zealand, Roache was handed more gutting medical news this week when learning the ruptured knee ligaments he suffered in the loss to Penrith will sideline him for six to nine months.

The 23-year-old missed the entire 2018 season with a serious back complaint, having struggled through his first two seasons with multiple ailments, including a ruptured Achilles.

Kearney said Roache, who has played 26 of a possible 86 games for the Warriors, was among the most jinxed players he'd been associated with but backed the youngster's mindset to undergo another long rehabilitation.

"It left me speechless in terms of the hard luck Nathaniel's had to go through," Kearney told reporters.

"To endure what he's going to over the next six to nine months, it's a real tragedy, to be honest.

"We're devastated for him. They're all good kids but he's a wonderful boy, he's got a beautiful personality."

Roache's grim run bears close resemblance to that of former Warriors utility Ben Henry, another with great promise who retired aged 24 in 2016 following three debilitating knee injuries across five seasons.

Kearney spoke to a surprisingly upbeat Roache on Tuesday and saw no evidence that the player was considering a career change.

"Not if you ask him, but it's about letting the dust settle and waiting for the emotion of things to settle down a bit and making a decision from there," he said.

"He knows what he's in for. You wouldn't know he's had all these injuries with the mindset he's shown."

The outcome is another lifeline thrown to out-of-touch Kiwis Test veteran Issac Luke, who comes on to the bench for Saturday's game against the Knights in Newcastle.

The Warriors chances of an upset win improved considerably on Wednesday when Newcastle stars Mitchell Pearce and David Klemmer were both called into the NSW State of Origin squad to replace the injured Nathan Cleary and the suspended Tariq Sims respectively

Nathaniel Roache scores against the Bulldogs
Nathaniel Roache scores against the Bulldogs Source: Photosport


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