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
 
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