Gelling, who joined the club earlier this year after departing English club Wigan Warriors, had yet to feature for the Warriors in their spectacular start to the NRL season, having won five consecutive games to start the season for the first time in club history.
Regular centre Solomone Kata injured his ankle in last week’s 27-18 loss to the Brisbane Broncos, and although he was named in the side on Monday (CI time), he was removed on Wednesday for Gelling.
Kata is expected to miss at least two weeks with the ankle injury, meaning that Gelling should see more game time for the top-four club.
A member of the Warriors reserve side in 2011, Gelling ultimately never made it to the NRL level, and departed for the English Warriors, where he carved out a six-year career before returning to New Zealand.
Gelling has been a regular in the Cook Islands national squad, having played in six test matches.
The Warriors sixth win of the season takes them to second, behind the Dragons.