Fonua-Blake locked in for three years
Richard Becht & Photosport.nz
Tue 22 Sep 2020, 01:22 PM
Addin Fonua-Blake MMT.png


Powerhouse Mate Ma’a Tonga and Manly front rower Addin Fonua-Blake has today been confirmed as the Vodafone Warriors’ fifth major signing for their 2021 NRL campaign after being secured on a three-year contract to the end of the 2023 season.

The imposing 189cm, 118kg prop’s acquisition follows the signing of his Tonga teammate Ben Murdoch-Masila from Warrington, Parramatta Eels prop Kane Evans and St George Illawarra centre Euan Aitken plus ex-Canberra back rower Jack Murchie, who was signed on an extended deal after initially joining the Vodafone Warriors only until the end of this year.

“Addin’s signing could be one of the most important the club’s history,” said Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan.

“He is exactly what we have been looking for to bring into our squad.

“The transformation of our pack is almost complete having Addin along with Kane Evans and Ben Murdoch-Masila plus the rise of young players like Eliesa (Katoa), Jamayne (Taunoa-Brown) and Jack (Murchie) and injured players returning to complement the skill and work rate of Tohu Harris (Harris) and Jazz (Tevaga).

“Addin has a big motor, power, the skill set and the body shape we were looking for to take our pack to a new level.

“He’s very close to a lot of players in our squad having cemented relationships with them over a number of years at Test level and with the Junior Kiwis. At 24 years of age he has the best years in front of him as a premier front rower in the NRL.”

Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George is elated with the signing.

“It’s a huge coup for us and we’re thrilled to welcome Addin and his family to our club,” he said.

“Having him on board is the missing part of the puzzle as we have worked to establish a squad to compete with the best clubs in the competition.”

Fonua-Blake, who was granted a release from his contract with Manly after playing his 97th and last match for the club on September 11, won’t line up for the Sea Eagles in their season-ending encounter with the Vodafone Warriors this Sunday.

After being used predominantly as an interchange prop in his first two seasons he has been a first-choice starting front rower for Manly since 2018.
In 15 appearances this season he has averaged 167 metres and 26 tackles a game while across his career he averages 125 metres and 21 tackles a match.

He made his international debut with the Kiwis in 2017 but then switched to Tonga in 2018.

ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE
Date of Birth: November 6, 1995
Birthplace: Meadowbank, Sydney
Junior Club: Mascot Jets, Sydney
Position: Prop
Height: 1.89m
Weight: 118kg
Rep Honours: 1 Test for Kiwis (2017), 6 Tests for Tonga (2018-2019)
NRL Debut: Manly Warringah v Parramatta, Brookvale Oval, April 14, 2016 (Round 7)
NRL Career: 97 appearances for Manly (2016-2020):
NRL Points: 52 (13 tries)

 

ramps

1st Grade Fringe
May 2, 2013
1,043
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
This is huge, back 8 weeks earlier than expected. Not even joking, could be the difference between playing finals and not playing finals.
100% mate! Definitely a difference maker. Apart from Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Tohu Harris. Hes the next most crucial player to this team. His aggression, quick play the balls, defence, metres, offloads are soo valuable. Was an integral part to our first couple wins. Sets the tone for our forward pack. Everyone lifts when hes playing. Look at how awesome Afoa was going when Addin Fonua-Blake was there. Then his combination with Ben Murdoch-Masila will be exciting again
 

Ohgeelowk

1st Grade Fringe
Nov 24, 2020
205
Anyone hear or see anything more than warriors tv reports on addins return? I’ve been looking all over all week
 

NZWarriorsFaithful

1st Grade Fringe
Aug 24, 2020
270

Miket12

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 20, 2012
9,685
Can anyone get through the paywall to Michael Burgess’s article on Addin Fonua-Blake and tell us when he’s due back. Cheers.

NRL: New Zealand Warriors marquee man set for surprise comeback from injury​

One of the Warriors' most important players is set for a surprise comeback.

Marquee prop Addin Fonua-Blake, who has been absent since injuring his knee in round four, could be back on the field in less than a month.

In a season that has seen a staggering amount of casualties at the Auckland club, with 28 players used in first grade, the prospect of an earlier than expected return for Fonua-Blake would be welcome news.

The Tongan international damaged his knee in a first0half collision against the Roosters in the April 4 clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

He required surgery and it was predicted he would be out for at least four months, with a possible return slated for August.

But Fonua-Blake has rehabilitated well and is tracking way ahead of schedule.

The club won't want to rush him back but are hopeful he could return for the Storm clash (June 13) or the trip to Newcastle (June 19).

"Addin is tracking along pretty good," coach Nathan Brown told Newstalk ZB. "We will get a little bit more information, he went for some more testing [on Tuesday] so we are not 100 per cent sure where he is at.

"But he is certainly improving well and all things being equal and him continuing to go as he is [then] after the bye round [June 4-6] he would be back.

"He needs to keep ticking boxes, but he is certainly improving. We are certainly expecting Addin, if he keeps tracking as is, to be back sooner rather than later."

His return could be a game-changer for the Warriors, as Fonua-Blake has been desperately missed.

In his first season he has quickly emerged as one of the pack leaders, along with Tohu Harris.

The 1.89m, 118 kg prop also provides momentum and go-forward that can't be replicated by any other player.

In the three full matches he played, the Warriors beat the Titans and Raiders, and led the Knights with six minutes to play before conceding a late try. Without him they have lost four of six games, including the frustrating twin defeats to the Sea Eagles and the heavy defeat to the Storm.

In other injury news, Brown said wing David Fusitua – who hasn't played since round five and was initially diagnosed with a complex hamstring injury – won't be back "anytime soon".

Josh Curran (elbow) and Bayley Sironen (knee) are out for at least a month, after injuries sustained last Sunday against the Eels.

Brown added that Reece Walsh will continue to be utilised as an interchange option, despite calls for the teenager to be given more game time.

The coach emphasised that the 18-year-old had only played a handful of senior matches before coming to the club and they needed to be mindful of his physical and mental development.

He also reiterated that when Walsh is used, it will be at the back, with captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck making way.

"We have certainly worked out that when he (Walsh) does come on, playing fullback and learning that role is far better for him and the team, in the short-term and long-term.

"Roger's game is the same whether he plays at fullback, or wherever he plays. He is going to play a similar type of game for us. Probably giving Reece the one position is in his best interests for his short and long-term development.

"Reece playing fullback and Roger playing other positions is probably what suits us at the moment, as far as the club for now and the club for the future goes."

 

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