It's the Rugby League team that unites an entire country, but the New Zealand Warriors (officially known as the Warriors) are still chasing an elusive first piece of silverware.
First gaining admission into the ARL premiership in 1995, the Warriors have been unable to win any competition so far in their history, suffering NRL Grand Final defeats in 2002 and 2011. They did not enter the Intrust Super Premiership NSW until 2014, replacing feeder team the Auckland Vulcans, but have earned fifth, fourth and fifth-placed finishes in the three seasons since. The Warriors' home ground of Mt Smart Stadium, in Auckland, has been a fortress of sorts in the NSWRL's highest competition, but they have often struggled with consistency when travelling across the Tasman.
With an entire nation of young talent to draw upon, expect the Warriors to once again blood some of Rugby League's most exciting players in 2017. Under new coach Ricky Henry, they will hope that the new breed can learn quickly as they push for another finals berth this year.
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James Bell is an Intrust Super Premiership NSW player with the Warriors – and he’s got high hopes for his Rugby League career