NRL New Zealand Warriors crippled by prop shortage

The Warriors' front-row stocks are at wafer-thin levels after prop Jackson Frei was ruled out for the NRL season with a torn ACL ligament.

Former Sydney Roosters junior Frei, 22, was likely to make his first-grade debut next month, but the club confirmed the serious knee injury suffered early in last Saturday's trial against Melbourne ended all hopes.

It follows a similar season-ending injury to seasoned prop Bunty Afoa and the departure of five-season front-rower Sam Lisone, who has been granted a release with a year to run on his contract to join the Gold Coast.

It means Kearney must dig deep to find interchange backup for starting pair Aganatius Paasi and Leeson Ah Mau.

The only two contenders coming off the bench in this Sunday's trial against the Wests Tigers in Rotorua are Jamayne Taunoa-Brown and Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard, who impressed against the Storm.

Both have no first grade experience.

Taunoa-Brown is on trial contract in Auckland but did his chances of a full-time deal no harm with a solid outing for the Indigenous team in last week's All Stars match.

Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck wants the pair to go for broke against the Tigers.

"We have enough ball players in our team so I'm looking for a bit of grunt in there," Tuivasa-Sheck said.

"Just go after it and be aggressive. Whoever puts their hand up to do that and does the hard yards, they'll get the shot."