Older Luke looking to take opportunity

Issac Luke on the run for the Warriors. Photo: Getty Images
Issac Luke on the run for the Warriors. Photo: Getty Images
Injuries have dictated Issac Luke's career with the Warriors.

A variety of injuries have limited his playing time since joining the Warriors in 2016, but in 2019 it's been injuries to other players that have influenced his playing time.

The Warriors hooker will make his ninth start of the season this weekend when the side host the Melbourne Storm at Mt Smart Stadium, an opportunity he's been afforded due to an injury to Nathaniel Roache.

Three weeks ago, Luke had been dropped from the side with coach Stephen Kearney preferring Roache in the starting role, with Jazz Tevaga and Karl Lawton providing cover on the bench. Luke was realistic about his opportunity, but said he would be look to make the most of it.

"It's probably just luck of the draw because Nate's injured, but I'm trying to force my way back in and keep myself there," he said. "I got a bit more time two weeks ago so I was happy with that. I've just got to keep my head down and keep going.

"Me and [Stephen Kearney] catch up all the time and focus on what needs to be focused on; tick all the right boxes."

The 32-year-old has missed games in all four of his campaigns with the Warriors, including the 2019 campaign, and has been an 80-minute option in less than half of the matches he's played for the club.

Last season, Luke produced 13 performances of 80 minutes or more and looked to be getting back toward the form he showed in his time with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

However shoulder and hamstring issues have limited his production in 2019, keeping him out of the preseason and two of the side's matches early in the season.

"I've got to take into account that I'm getting old too. That's what I put it down to," he said.

"[My body] was good the last two games, I felt quite good. When you're feeling like that you kind of don't want to stop, but we got a weekend off, now we're building to Saturday.

"I've just got to keep trying to play well and keep myself in there."

- Christopher Reive

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