General Toopi granted early release from his contract



Vodafone Warriors centre Clinton Toopi was today granted an early release from his contract to join English Super League club Leeds.

The 26-year-old Toopi and his new club had requested a release enabling him to join the Rhinos for the rest of the English season.

“It was Clinton’s wish to go early,†said Vodafone Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah. “He asked to be released because he needs to be registered by July 18 to be able to play the rest of the Super League season.

“With Todd Byrne being cleared to play after this week’s bye, we believe we have the depth to enable Clinton to take up his new contract.

“Everyone appreciates the tremendous contribution Clinton has made to the Vodafone Warriors and we wish him every success in the future.â€Â
Toopi told his team-mates of his decision today.

“I’m thankful to the club for allowing me to leave early,†he said.
“Players are ahead of me here at the Vodafone Warriors now and I think I need to be playing football at the highest level possible. I want to be in the Kiwi team for this year’s Tri Nations and my best chance of achieving that at this stage is by playing for Leeds.

“I’ve had a fantastic time with the Vodafone Warriors, including the experience of playing in our first grand final in 2002. I think the club’s in great shape for the future and wish them all the best. I’ll be keeping an eye on how they’re going.â€Â

Toopi’s last appearance for the Vodafone Warriors, his 129th since his debut in 1999, was against St George Illawarra in Wollongong on May 13. His last home outing was against the Bulldogs on April 30.

In his final season for the club, Toopi has played 10 games, scoring one try.

He’s expected to leave for England later this week.


Born: February 29, 1980
Birthplace: Stratford (Taranaki)
Position: Centre
Height: 185cm
Weight: 99kg
Junior Club: Mt Wellington, Otahuhu (Auckland)
NRL Debut: Vodafone Warriors v South Sydney, Ericsson Stadium, May 2, 1999 (Round 9)
100th Appearance: v South Sydney, Ericsson Stadium, April 3, 2005 (Round 3)
NRL Career: Vodafone Warriors – 129 games
NRL Points: 228 (57 tries)
International: New Zealand – 19 Tests 2001-06 (11 tries)
Debut v France, Auckland, 2001
New Zealand Maori at 2000 World Cup
Educated: Edgewater College (Auckland)


Farewell, Toopi. You were a fine player at your peak. Here's hoping you play out of your skin for Leeds, represent the Kiwis, and register yet another hattrick against those pesky Kangaroos! :D

God bless, mate.


JonB said:
who else is left from the 2002 team that went and played in the GF?

Hohaia, Guttenbeil (though probably leaving), Koopu and maybe a couple of others but can't remember them.


I watched toopi the today on the new warriors dvd, man he was good. Same as meli and sione, what happened to these three awesome talents? shame really. Good luck clinton, thanks for those years and I hope u can find some better times than u have had the last few seasons.


goodluck toopi, I remember the good and bad times but you were a great player and will show those poms a thing or too, good luck.


tezzah said:
Good riddens!

Should have offloaded him last year!

Gee, there's gratitude for all the positive things Toopi has done in a Warriors jersey. :roll: