For initial comments on this signing please read the following thread...

https://www.nzwarriors.com/threads/...tohu-harris-signs-on-from-2018-onwards.53807/

Tohu Harris signs monster deal with Warriors: Five burning questions
3 hours ago
by JOHN DEAN AND SIMON BRUNSDON
Source: FOX SPORTS
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STEPHEN Kearney’s first act as Warriors coach is big — he’s snared Kiwi backrower Tohu Harris on a massive four-year deal.

The New Zealand representative will move across the ditch and play with the Warriors from 2018 after seeing out his contract at Melbourne Storm this year.

So what does this mean for the Warriors? And the Storm?

We’ve answered five burning questions.

WHY THE WARRIORS?

There’s a couple of important reasons Harris opted to join the Warriors over staying in Melbourne, and no doubt he had offers from elsewhere too.

The biggest drawcards are the location and the coach. Harris said his signing with the Warriors was him going “home” — he was born in Hastings, New Zealand and lived on the island before moving to Melbourne late in his teens to train with the Storm.

Playing under Stephen Kearney, too, was tempting for the big forward.

Kearney previously coached under Craig Bellamy at the Storm and has led the Kiwis while Harris has been involved in the national team.

“I have great respect for Mooks through my time with him in the Kiwis and I look forward to working with him again,” Harris said.

The potential for the Warriors over the next few years is also exciting to any prospective player.

With the club drawing Issac Luke, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, and Kieran Foran there over the past two years it feels like the Warriors will be a genuine NRL contender in the seasons to come.

WHAT HAS MELBOURNE LOST?

Craig Bellamy made the retention of Harris one of his priorities this year but ultimately lost out to his former deputy Kearney.

With Kevin Proctor moving to the Gold Coast over the off-season, Bellamy has lost his 2016 starting backrow when the club made the grand final.

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The club has already lost Kevin Proctor. Picture: Richard GoslingSource: News Corp Australia

Harris is without doubt one of the best in his trade. His left-edge combination with five-eighth Blake Green last year reaped eight tries for the big forward.

When he’s not running holes he can create them himself with surprising ball-playing ability. He wore the No.6 for New Zealand once during the Four Nations in November, and did so during the 2014 Anzac Test as well.

The Storm also lose reliability and consistency that comes hand-in-hand with Harris. He’s barely missed a game for the club over the past four years.

At just 25 years of age and with 103 NRL games already under his belt, Harris could have even been Melbourne’s next 300-game player. A future captain, maybe?

WHICH WARRIORS ARE IN THE FIRING LINE?

With Harris arriving on big coin, you can expect there will be a few nervous off-contract players at the club.

Ryan Hoffman’s deal is up at the end of the season and, despite his 33-year-old legs, wants to play on into 2018. If he moves elsewhere, his sizeable wage could conceivably go to Harris.

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Ryan Hoffman is off-contract.Source: Getty Images

Fellow backrower Bodene Thompson needs to put in a big season given he’s also without a contract beyond this campaign.

The futures of big boppers Charlie Gubb and Ben Matulino remain in the air, with both off-contract and having been linked to exits from the club in recent times.

Their front row partner Jacob Lillyman is also without a contract for 2018 and isn’t getting any younger.

The Warriors also have Shaun Johnson coming off contract, but the two parties are currently in talks and are confident that the star playmaker will remain at Mt Smart Stadium.

Then there’s Kieran Foran who only signed a deal for 2017 and it remains to be seen if the club will stick with him if his contract isn’t registered by the NRL.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE STORM?

Well they’ve still got Harris for this season and he says he’s totally committed to finishing his time on a winning note.

In terms of recruitment and retention, the Storm can now turn their attention to re-signing highly rated forwards Jordan McLean and Nelson Asofa-Solomona.

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Jordan McLean is a top priority re-signing for the Storm.Source: Supplied

The departure of Proctor and now Harris will also open up opportunities for the younger players.

Joe Stimson, who was named the club’s 2016 feeder player of the year, is knocking on the door of first grade, while the likes of Dean Britt and Vincent Leuluai are also itching to get a run in NRL.

The club’s depth will be tested so they may need to pick up a player or two.

https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...s/news-story/4728c15419b5a52c65d286a8ab019d14
 
Last edited:

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
22,510
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
Stat Attack: How Harris beat dreaded Storm syndrome
Dan Walsh
Tue 22 May 2018, 11:26 AM
Tohu Harris 2018.jpg

Tohu Harris has shaken off both Stephen Kearney's jokes and the dreaded 'Storm syndrome' that has seen plenty of his Melbourne teammates fall away since leaving Craig Bellamy's five-star stable.

After an injury-interrupted 2017 that started with a four-year commitment to the Warriors and ended with grand final triumph in his last game for the Storm, Harris has hit the ground running as one of the Telstra Premiership's form back-rowers at his new club.


With the Warriors camped in the top four Harris's ball-playing has come to the fore since his move across the ditch, laying on six line breaks and three tries for his teammates down the right edge.

The Kiwi international's work rate has stayed on par with his tireless efforts across five seasons at Melbourne, providing the Warriors with serious bang for the big bucks they spent to lure him back across the ditch.

It hasn't always been the case with recruits out of Bellamy's famed Storm systems.

The likes of Adam Blair, Ryan Hoffman, Dane Neilsen, Sisa Waqa and Kevin Proctor have all struggled at times, for numerous reasons and under various circumstances, after rising to prominence at Melbourne.

stat-attack_harris_20180522.jpg

Harris though has bucked the trend, using the same mantra that makes the Victorian franchise the most professional in rugby league.

"I never really bought into that," Harris says when asked about a potential form drop-off after departing Melbourne.

"I always think if my form is not good enough, then I'm not working hard enough.

"That's the mantra at the Storm. If you're not in good form, you work harder to dig yourself out of that hole. That's how I think, that's what I believe.

"If I go somewhere I'm not used to and don't perform, it's not because of that place or the people around me, it's going to be myself.

"That's who the form comes from, good or bad. I never had any worries about that, I just thought I've got to go there and work as hard as I can and try and fit in as well as I can."

Harris is unfazed by Kearney's ribbings in team meetings these days as well.

As Kiwi coach one of Kearney's favourite gags was to throw to his church-mouse quiet second-rower, asking if he had anything to add. Harris typically had only one answer.

"He used to pull that, not so much this year because he's got to be careful with what I come back with," Harris grins.

"Mooks used to think he was pretty funny."

Enticing Harris out of Bellamy's fold, Kearney came bearing more than jokes. He "presented and an opportunity" as the 26-year-old puts it.

From the outside looking in, Harris has taken him up on it. Word around Warriors' HQ is that Harris is only getting louder as he warms to his new surroundings.

"My wife will tell you that I've always been a talker, but I guess I've had those thoughts about picking my moments to speak," Harris tells NRL.com.

"With all the leaders at Melbourne you can get comfortable with that aspect of the game and you don't have to speak as much with all those other guys.

"My wife has helped a lot, she's always encouraged me to speak more and she's tried to bring that out in me.

"If I see things I try to speak up rather than let it go, Mooks, Greeny (five-eighth Blake Green) and all the other leaders they encourage me too."

https://www.nrl.com/news/2018/05/22...5&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=article3_2205
 

snake77

Warriors 1st Grader
Jul 12, 2013
8,908
Well deserved. He's been imense this year.

Love having him in our side, tough, reliable, consistent, has passing skills when playing on an edge.

He's supposed to be lined up to lead the squad training in the off season this year. Good for the club with RTS and Harris in leadership roles.
 

wizards rage

1st Grade Fringe
Apr 18, 2016
2,908
Tauranga
Really loving Harris and looking forward to another stellar season this year. In a gun forward pack he’s an automatic starter and would be the best in a number of positions. He makes the players around him perform better and is therefore more important than his 1 position on the field.

Are we in the process of seeing him surpass Mannering as the greatest forward ever at the Warriors? Serious question.

I’m hoping he signs another contract soon as he’s a key to our next few years.
 

matiunz

All Out!
Contributor
Jul 15, 2013
7,402
Sydney
Really loving Harris and looking forward to another stellar season this year. In a gun forward pack he’s an automatic starter and would be the best in a number of positions. He makes the players around him perform better and is therefore more important than his 1 position on the field.

Are we in the process of seeing him surpass Mannering as the greatest forward ever at the Warriors? Serious question.

I’m hoping he signs another contract soon as he’s a key to our next few years.
For me he’d have to re-sign to even be in the ‘greatest’ conversation. Part of Simons legacy was the sheer amount of games he played plus him being a 1 club player, bring up Tohu and people would still associate him with Storm first
 

wizards rage

1st Grade Fringe
Apr 18, 2016
2,908
Tauranga
For me he’d have to re-sign to even be in the ‘greatest’ conversation. Part of Simons legacy was the sheer amount of games he played plus him being a 1 club player, bring up Tohu and people would still associate him with Storm first
Fair points. But I believe we are ‘in the process’ of seeing Harris become a legend of the club.

I think Simon was highly rated because he was a 1 club player but remember he never even won a Dally M as the best in his position.

Not running Mannering down as he was a great player but Harris has it all. Size, defence, Attack, versatile in where he plays, Dally M winner, etc. give him another 3-4 years at the club and we go deep in the finals during that time and Harris will be right up there with the best we have seen.

I’m just enjoying watching him being here!
 

fizurg

1st Grade Fringe
May 18, 2012
1,707
hamilton
Yeah, I’ve been pondering whether Tohu is the best player the Warriors have ever had. He’s just so complete as a player. Dangerous enough to attack to put the defenders in two minds, Rock solid on defence, huge motor, relatively injury free, massive frame but the skills to play in the halves and his consistency is crazy. I don’t ever remember him having an average game or a single bad thing said about him from fans.
Just can’t fault the guy. It’s not like he’s having a break out season. He’s been like that since game one for the Warriors.
 

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