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'What's best for the footy team' – Kodi Nikorima reacting well to losing Warriors spot

Warriors half Kodi Nikorima has responded well to losing his spot for this weekend's NRL season opener, relegated to the bench to face the Newcastle Knights on Sunday.

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Kiwis international Nikorima has been overlooked for Chanel Harris-Tavita. Source: 1 NEWS

Nikorima, 25, will be utilised as an impact utility player for the Warriors' 2020 opener, with coach Stephen Kearney opting for 20-year-old Chanel Harris-Tavita to partner Blake Green in the halves.

Boasting 15 caps for the Kiwis, Nikorima being overlooked would surely be a bitter pill to swallow for any player, especially to a player five years his junior.

The versatile playmaker was a mid-season addition for the Warriors last year, moving from the Brisbane Broncos in search of game time after falling out of favour under Anthony Seibold.

However, speaking to media today, Kearney says that Nikorima is prepared to accept his demotion, putting the team's needs above his own.

"No doubt, there would have been a bit of disappointment," Kearney said.

"It doesn't matter whether you've played international footy or not. When you don't make your preferred position, I'm picking there will always be disappointment.

"Kodi understands it's what we think's best for the footy team this week. The team always has to come first.

"I feel that he can really be an asset for us coming off the bench. He can provide some real spark.

"He understands that and I think he's had a real good training week, which shows me he wants to get on with the job."

Nikorima playing a dummy half role from the bench isn't a completely foreign concept, having had success in doing so for the Kiwis in the 2019 international season.

Kearney also said, however, that Nikorima won't be resigned to the bench for the new season.

His ability in the number 14 role gives Kearney the confidence to use Nikorima as that utility player.

"The plan is to bring him off the bench as a dummy half. I thought he did a pretty good job there at the back end of last year when he was called into that role.

"That's the plan for him. We haven't 100 per cent made our mind up just yet, but that's the plan."