Lino proud of Warriors digging deep after Cyclone Gita

News NRL

Players from the New Zealand Warriors will do their bit to assist in the clean up of Cyclone Gita, which devastated parts of the Pacific this week.

For the Warriors’ round two home clash against the Titans, all tickets will be $15.

$5 from every ticket will go towards relief efforts.

Warriors halfback Mason Lino, poised to lead his side out for their first trial match this Saturday against  Melbourne, said all his teammates were more than happy to help.

“It’s a massive initiative from our club and I’m really proud of the organisation for getting behind it,” Lino said.

“A lot of us are from a Pasifika background so it means a lot to the playing group.

“We know things are a bit rough at home at the moment, so I just hope everyone stays safe and whatever we can do to help, I’m happy to be a part of it.”

Lino, 24, has been a part of the Warriors system since 2012 and featured in six NRL games last year.

Warriors coach Steven Kearney said Lino was the obvious choice to lead the side out in Rotorua.

Warriors half Mason Lino.
Warriors half Mason Lino.
©NRL Photos

“Mason has always been a great young leader at our club. He has been very influential in our ISP team over the past few years so he was the logical choice for us.”

Kearney has chosen not to play key recruit Blake Green this weekend, with Lino and Ata Hingano in the halves.

Fellow new faces Adam Blair and Tohu Harris will also be rested.

“I’m pretty confident with the decision not to play them because I know what I’m going to get out of those guys. Adam has played over 250 first grade games and 30 odd Test matches,” Kearney said.

“If I’m using an old car analogy those guys have plenty of miles on the clock, they are reliable and know what they’re doing.”

Lino also admitted when Green initially signed last year he and Hingano were “a bit sceptical” of the ex Sea Eagles pivot.

But both quickly warmed to the veteran playmaker in pre-season and are now soaking up all they can.

“He’s helped me develop my game, I’ve truly learnt a lot from Greeny,” Lino said.

“He can control the game really well, he has a great kicking game and just the way he organises the boys..that’s what you want out of a half.”

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