Warriors hooker Luke relishing Burgess reunion

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Issac Luke is relishing going head-to-head with former South Sydney Rabbitohs team-mate Sam Burgess in the new NRL season after joining New Zealand Warriors.

The New Zealand hooker is poised to represent the Warriors having ended an eight-year spell with the Rabbitohs at the end of last season.

Wests Tigers will be the Warriors first opponents of the new campaign on Saturday, but Luke is looking forward to renewing acquaintances with Burgess when the Warriors face the Rabbitohs in Auckland on August 12.

Burgess' return to the Rabbitohs was confirmed in November, leaving rugby union side Bath after his inclusion in England's Rugby World Cup squad was pinpointed as one of the reasons for the host nation's pool-stage exit.

Asked by Omnisport about the reunion with Burgess, Luke said: "I can't wait. He's already spotted me up, with Sam I'm glad he's back in the NRL.

"I was pretty upset with what the media done to him and obviously that's how things roll but he's back in the game that he loves."

Luke joins a Warriors team stacked with talent having added former Sydney Roosters full-back Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to a team that already boasts the likes of Shaun Johnson, Manu Vatuvei, Thomas Leuluai and Ryan Hoffmann.

"Having Roger and Shaun there is a bonus," Luke added. "It's something I've been looking forward to for a long time. 

"Obviously [it's] a bit of change of culture, I'll have to start behaving now I'm in the public eye and being able to represent my family, my country and my brothers in the team."

Tuivasa-Sheck, meanwhile, is confident his new team can challenge for the top prize and win their first NRL title.

He said: "We want to, when you enter the NRL season you always want to compete for that number one spot.

"I'm confident with the team we have and the squad we've announced and I just can't wait for it, can't wait to have a challenge."