Recruitment Warriors Player Roster and Contracts - 2016

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Warriors Player Roster and Contract News - 2016


This thread is your one stop shop for up-to-date Player Roster, Warriors player movements and re-signings as well as the teams depth list for every position and all players on the radar for 1st Grade. The positions have been based off where players have actually played and not where they may be good at.

2016 Vodafone Warriors NRL squad

Matt Allwood, Blake Ayshford, David Fusitua, Konrad Hurrell, Shaun Johnson, Solomone Kata, Ata Hingano, Thomas Leuluai, Mason Lino, Tuimoala Lolohea, Ken Maumalo, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Marata Niukore, Jeff Robson, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Manu Vatuvei, Henare Wells, Jonathan Wright

Forwards: Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Charlie Gubb, Ben Henry, Ryan Hoffman, Jacob Lillyman, Sam Lisone, Sione Lousi, Issac Luke,Simon Mannering, Ben Matulino, John Palavi, Upu Poching, Nathaniel Roache, Ligi Sao, Toafofoa Sipley, Bodene Thompson, Albert Vete, Jazz Tevaga, James Gavet, Shaun Lane, Ali Lauitiiti, Bunty Afoa, Erin Clark, Patrick Sipley, Ofahiki Ogden

Players and Contract Length in Alphabetical Order
Albert Vete 2017 - Link Link
Ali Lauitiiti 2016 - Link
Ata Hingano 2016 - Link
Ben Henry 2016 - Link
Ben Matulino 2017 - Link
Blake Ayshford 2017 - Link
Bodene Thompson 2017 - Link
Bunty Afoa 2019 - Link
Charlie Gubb 2016 - Link
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2017 - Link
David Fusitua 2019 - Link Link
Erin Clark 2017 - Link
Henare Wells 2016 - Link
Issac Luke 2018 - Link
Jacob Lillyman 2017 - Link
James Gavet 2017 - Link
Jazz Tevaga 2018 - Link. Official Link
John Palavi 2016 - Link
Jonathan Wright 2016 - Link
Ken Maumalo 2018 - (Link re-signed) Link. Official Link
Ligi Sao 2017 - Link
Manu Vatuvei 2018 - Link
Marata Nikore 2016 - Link
Mason Lino 2016 - Link
Matt Allwood 2017 - Link
Nathaniel Roache 2017 - Link
Ofahiki Ogden 2017 - Link
Patrick Sipley 2017 - Link
Paul Tuli 2015 - Link???
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2018 - Link
Ryan Hoffman 2017 - Link
Sam Lisone 2018 - Link
Shaun Johnson 2017 - Link
Shaun Lane 2016 Link
Simon Mannering 2018 - Link
Sione Lousi 2016 - Link
Solomone Kata 2018 - Link. Official Link
Toafofoa Sipley 2017 - Link
Tomasi Aoake 2015 - Link???
Thomas Leuluai 2017 - Link End of year release Link
Tuimoala Lolohea 2018 - Link
Upu Poching 2016 - Link???
Year to Year Summary
Off Contract 2015:

Paul Tuli 2015
Tomasi Aoake 2015

Off Contract 2016:

Ali Lauitiiti 2016
Ata Hingano 2016
Ben Henry 2016
Charlie Gubb 2016
Jeff Robson 2016
John Palavi 2016
Jonathan Wright 2016
Marata Niukore 2016
Mason Lino 2016
Raymond Faitala-Mariner 2016
Shaun Lane 2016
Sione Lousi 2016
Upu Poching 2016

Off Contract 2017:

Albert Vete 2017
Ben Matulino 2017
Blake Ayshford 2017
Bodene Thompson 2017
David Fusitua 2017
Erin Clark 2017
Jacob Lillyman 2017
James Gavet 2017
Ligi Sao 2017
Matt Allwood 2017
Nathaniel Roache 2017
Ofahiki Ogden 2017
Ryan Hoffman 2017
Shaun Johnson 2017
Toafofoa Sipley 2017
Thomas Leuluai 2017 Granted early release Link

Off Contract 2018:

Issac Luke 2018
Jazz Tevaga 2018
Ken Maumalo 2018
Manu Vatuvei 2018
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2018
Sam Lisone 2018
Simon Mannering 2018
Solomone Kata 2018
Tuimoala Lolohea 2018

Off Contract 2019:

Bunty Afoa 2019
David Fusitua 2019

Contracted but length of contract TBA:

Paul Tuli 2015
Tomasi Aoake 2015
Viliami Kaveinga
Herman Retzlaff
Jarrod Tua
Player Losses by Year
2016 Losses:

Raymond Faitala-Mariner - Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Link
Konrad Hurrell - Gold Coast Titans Link
Jeff Robson 2016 - Link Released Link Parramatta Eels
Ben Henry - Retired Link
Thomas Leuluai - Released to return to the UK Link
Steve Waetford

2015 Losses:

Brad Abbey - Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Link
Chad Townsend - Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks Link
David Bhana - Newcastle Knights
Dominique Peyroux - Catalans Dragons Link
Glen Fisiiahi - Counties Manukau Rugby Union Link
Nathan Friend - Gold Coast Titans Link
Nathaniel Peteru - Gold Coast Titans Link
Ngani Laumape - Wellington Hurricanes Rugby Union Link
Sam Cook - Newcastle Knights
Sam Tomkins - Wigan Warriors Link
Sebastine Ikahihifo - St George-Illawarra Dragons Link
Siliva Havili - St George-Illawarra Dragons Link
Suaia Matagi - Sydney Roosters Link

Player Depth for 2016

1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
2. Tuimoala Lolohea
3. David Fusitua
4. Solomone Kata
5. Jonathan Wright
6. Henare Wells
6. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
7. Viliami Kaveinga

1. Manu Vatuvei
2. David Fusitua
3.Tuimoala Lolohea
4. Jonathan Wright
5. Ken Maumalo
6. Solomone Kata
7. Matt Allwood
8. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
9. Marata Niukore
10. Viliami Kaveinga
11. Jarrod Tua
12. Blake Ayshford

1. Konrad Hurrell
2. Solomone Kata
3. Blake Ayshford
4. Tuimoala Lolohea
5. David Fusitua
6. Matt Allwood
7. Ben Henry
8. Raymond Faitala-Mariner
9. Bodene Thompson
10. Simon Mannering
11. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
12. Marata Niukore
13. Thomas Leuluai
14. Viliami Kaveinga

1. Shaun Johnson
2. Thomas Leuluai
3. Jeff Robson
4. Tuimoala Lolohea
5. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
6. Mason Lino
7. Blake Ayshford
8. Ata Hingano
9. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad

1. Ben Matulino
2. Jacob Lillyman
3. Albert Vete
4. Sam Lisone
5. Charlie Gubb
6. Ligi Sao
7. James Gavet
8. Sione Lousi
9. John Palavi
10. Toafofoa Sipley
11. Upu Pooching
12. James Bell
13. Paul Tuli
14. Bunty Afoa
15. Daniel Palavi
16. Shaun Lane
17. Ali Lauitiiti
18. Patrick Sipley

1. Issac Luke
2. Thomas Leuluai
3. Nathaniel Roache
4. Ben Henry
5. Zac Tippins
6. Jazz Tevaga
7. Erin Clark

2nd Row
1. Ryan Hoffman
2. Bodene Thompson
3. Simon Mannering
4. Raymond Faitala-Mariner
5. Ben Henry
6. Ali Lauitiiti
7. Sione Lousi
8. Sam Lisone
9. Charlie Gubb
10. John Palavi
11. Shaun Lane
12. Ali Lauitiiti
13. Erin Clark
14. Ofahiki Ogden

1. Simon Mannering
2. Ryan Hoffman
3. Bodene Thompson
4. Ben Henry
5. Charlie Gubb
6. Albert Vete
7. Sam Lisone
8. John Palavi
9. Sione Lousi
10. Blake Ayshford
11. Upu Poching
12. Ali Lauitiiti
13. Jazz Tevaga
14. Erin Clark
15. Ofahiki Ogden

Every attempt has been made to keep this record as accurate as possible but if you do spot any errors or know of any updates than please let us know. If you know of any positions that a player has actually played in then do let an admin know. Thanks in advance.
Last edited by a moderator:


Warriors Orange Peeler
Will slowly be going through our team list and linking all the players to articles or official statements from the club. You'll be able to see the players contract length and also review any media surrounding his contract. Just refer to the original post. So next to Albert Vete's name you'll get a link to this post.

This thread is to serve as a reference point only so is locked for comment but will be updated by admin.

Starting in alphabetical order...

Albert Vete signs two-year deal with Warriors
Last updated 12:22, July 7 2015

Rookie prop Albert Vete has signed a new two-year deal with the Warriors.

Vete has been one of the big movers in the club's promising NRL season, appearing in 12 of the 15 games.

He's done enough to convince coach Andrew McFadden he's worth investing in further.

Vete, 22, earned his NRL debut on the back of a strong offseason and trials and has been in the mix since. Now he will be at the club through to 2017.

He is one of four players who had new deals confirmed on Tuesday.

Jonathan Wright has been given a one-year extension through 2016.

Youth players Nathaniel Roache (two years) and Marata Niukere (one year) are the others.

Roache, 19, and Niukore – who turns 19 this month – will still be eligible for the NYC next year but McFadden said they both appealed as players who would play a big part in the future.

The signings follow the Warriors recently securing Kiwi stars Issac Luke and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck on three-year contracts along with new deals for three other NRL rookies – Tuimoala Lolohea, Solomone Kata and Sam Lisone – as well as outstanding Junior Warriors captain Toafofoa Sipley, who will join the NRL squad next year.

First team regulars Ben Matulino, Konrad Hurrell, Manu Vatuvei and Ben Henry had their contracts extended earlier this season.

The signings offset the losses of fullback Sam Tomkins (Wigan) and veteran prop Sam Rapira (Huddersfield) who head to the English Super League at the end of the season.

Prop Suaia Matagi, Nathaniel Peteru and Api Rewhairangi have already departed for other clubs. Junior Warriors fullback Brad Abbey will also be leaving and first-team standoff. Chad Townsend returns to Sydney at the end of this season, granted an early release from his contract on compassionate grounds.


Warriors Orange Peeler
Albert Vete
Jonathan Wright
Nathaniel Roache
Marata Niukore

NRL squad realigned for 2016
Tue 7th July, 09:33AM

Contract extensions have been confirmed for NRL rookie Albert Vete, Jonathan Wright and promising NYC players Nathaniel Roache and Marata Niukore as the Vodafone Warriors continue to shape and realign their squad for the 2016 season and beyond.

Vete has been signed until the end of the 2017 season after appearing in 12 of the club’s 15 NRL games so far this season. Roache has also been signed for two seasons while Wright and Niukore have signed for one.

The signings follow the club recently securing Kiwi stars Issac Luke and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck on three-year contracts along with new deals for three other NRL rookies – Tuimoala Lolohea, Solomone Kata and Sam Lisone – as well as outstanding Vodafone Junior Warriors captain Toafofoa Sipley, who will join the NRL squad next year.

While Ben Matulino, Konrad Hurrell, Manu Vatuvei and Ben Henry had their contracts extended earlier this season, a number of players are leaving the Vodafone Warriors this year.

Fullback Sam Tomkins has been released and will rejoin Wigan after this season while veteran prop Sam Rapira is in his 10th and last NRL campaign with the club before he links up with Huddersfield in the English Super League.

Prop Suaia Matagi, Nathaniel Peteru and Api Rewhairangi have already departed for other clubs. Also leaving at the end of the year is Vodafone Junior Warriors fullback Brad Abbey.

Another player finishing with the club is standoff Chad Townsend, who has been released at the end of the season to return to Sydney on compassionate grounds.

“There has been a lot of activity in terms of players being signed or retained along with a number being released or not being re-signed,” said Vodafone Warriors managing director Jim Doyle.

“This is all part of the process we’re working through with (head coach) Cappy (McFadden) and his assistant coaches to realign our NRL squad to meet the needs they have identified.

“Some hard choices have already been made and there are likely to be more but this is critical in our mission to both build and improve our NRL squad to a point where it is as strong as any in the competition.”

While McFadden said the 2015 campaign is his priority he’s excited about the outlook for 2016 and beyond.

“We’ve made two terrific signings in Issac and Roger and we’ve also worked hard to retain a lot of our experienced and emerging players,” he said.

“We’ll always be a development club given the great pool of players we can draw on here in New Zealand but retention and recruiting quality players is a key as well to ensure we have the right blend of experience across the squad.”

McFadden said he was delighted with the progress Vete (22) had made this season after being on trial during the offseason. Along with Lisone he had earned selection through his deeds and his form in the trials.

Roache (19) and Niukore – who turns 19 this month – will still be eligible for the NYC next year but McFadden said they both appealed as players who would play a big part in the future.


Warriors Orange Peeler
Ben Henry
Ken Maumalo



Ben Henry down injured.Source: News Corp Australia

The Warriors have re-signed Kiwi international Ben Henry until the end of 2016.

The 23-year-old is currently recovering from a season-ending ACL injury he picked up in March.

Warriors CEO Jim Doyle confirmed Henry, who made his Test debut for New Zealand last year, will remain at the club another year.

“We’ve extended Ben for another season, so we’re looking forward to getting him back on the field next year,” Doyle revealed to

The Warriors have also extended the contract of winger Ken Maumalo.

The 21-year-old made his NRL debut this year after graduating from the Holden Cup and has played eight games in the top grade.

“Ken’s with us for next year also,” Doyle said.


Warriors Orange Peeler
Ben Matulino

ANNOUNCEMENT | Matulino's new contract
Thu 5th February, 09:34PM

Front rower Ben Matulino has given the Vodafone Warriors’ 2015 NRL campaign a huge boost today by re-committing to the club on a new two-year contract which will keep him at Mount Smart Stadium until the end of the 2017 season.

The deal will enable the 26-year-old Wellingtonian to join the select group of players who have represented the Vodafone Warriors across 10 NRL seasons.

Now entering his eighth campaign, Matulino last year became only the 10th player to have appeared in 150 NRL games for the club; Sam Rapira (169) is the only front rower ahead of him.

Named the club’s player of the year in 2012, Matulino said he was delighted he’d be staying in Auckland for at least another two years.

“I’m really pleased to have my future sorted out now before the season starts,” he said.

“There was interest from other clubs but this is where I want to be.

“The Vodafone Warriors have done so much for me and I owe them for the support.

“I really like the culture Cappy (head coach Andrew McFadden) is building and feel our future is looking good. That’s something I want to be a part of.

“This is also a great group of players to be around, the ones who have been there all the way along like Simon (Mannering), Manu (Vatuvei) and Sam (Rapira) as well as the young players coming through.”

McFadden said extending Matulino’s time with the club was critical to building the squad.

“Ben has great standing as one of the best front rowers in the game today,” he said.

“He’s also a fantastic advertisement for our development system and for the NYC, the way he has come through to achieve so much at both NRL and international level.

“It was really important for us to extend Ben’s time with us. He has so much more to offer and is a real key to our future.”

Matulino has been a trailblazer for the NRL, a foundation player in the NYC’s inaugural season in 2008 who was soon promoted to the NRL. He made his debut as a 19-year-old and has gone on to create history as the first NYC graduate to play his 100th NRL game (in 2012) and also the first to reach 150 appearances, which he did against the Roosters last year.

After playing his junior football for the Te Aroha Eels in Wellington, Matulino has also gone on to play 19 Tests for the Kiwis. He helped the Kiwis to their win over the Kangaroos in the 2010 Four Nations final in Brisbane but was ruled out of last year’s successful campaign.

Matulino was initially used as a second rower and reprised that role several times last season but most of his career has been in the front row as a starting prop or an interchange option.

He relished his most productive try-scoring season in 2014, scoring four tries to lift his career tally to 13.


Date of Birth | January 03, 1989

Birthplace | Lower Hutt, New Zealand

Junior Club | Te Aroha Eels (Wellington)

Position | Prop/Second Row

Height | 193cm

Weight | 107kg

Other Teams | Vodafone Junior Warriors (NYC), Wellington Orcas, Randwick Kingfishers (Wellington)

Rep Honours | 19 Tests for Kiwis 2009-2013, Four Nations 2009-2011

Club Number | 142

NRL Debut | Vodafone Warriors v Cronulla, Toyota Stadium, June 14, 2008 (Round 14)

NRL Career | 152 appearances, 2008-2014

NRL Points | 52 (13 tries)

NYC Debut | Vodafone Junior Warriors v Parramatta, March 23, 2008 (Round 2)

NYC Career | 13 appearances, 2008-2009

NYC Points | 8 (2 tries)

Secondary School | St Bernard’s College (Wellington)


Warriors Orange Peeler
Bodene Thompson

Vodafone Warriors sign Thompson
Richard Becht
Sat 1st November, 11:52PM

Kiwi back rower Bodene Thompson is joining the Vodafone Warriors on a three-year contract for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 NRL seasons.

While revealing Thompson’s signing, Vodafone Warriors general manager Dean Bell also confirmed second rower Jayson Bukuya had been granted a release on compassionate grounds to return to Sydney.

The Tauranga-born Thompson boasts a total of 85 NRL appearances for the Gold Coast Titans and Wests Tigers and is now in camp with the Kiwis for their 2014 Four Nations campaign. He was 18th man for their encounter with Toa Samoa in Whangarei last night.

Vodafone Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden is thrilled about securing Thompson.

“Bodene’s a quality addition to our squad, a player with a great attitude and work ethic who has impressed everyone who has worked with him,” he said.

“From the moment I first saw him play at NRL level I’ve been impressed with the way he goes about his work.

“He’s an 80-minute back rower who’s really going to add plenty to our squad and he’ll also ensure there’s huge competition for spots. I’m really excited we’ve secured him.”

After moving to the Gold Coast with his family when he was a teenager, Thompson said the opportunity to come home to New Zealand and to link up with the Vodafone Warriors was another career highlight.

“I’ve had an amazing last few weeks being called into the Kiwis and now signing with the Vodafone Warriors,” he said.

“I’m doing all I can to support the team in the Four Nations right now but I’m also looking forward to linking up with the boys at Mount Smart Stadium. I’m around plenty of them in camp with the Kiwis right now so I’m already getting to know them well.

“While I enjoyed my time with Wests Tigers and have plenty to thank them for, coming home to New Zealand is something I always wanted to do.”

A product of the highly-regarded Keebra Park State High School rugby league programme, Thompson played for the Titans in the NYC’s foundation season in 2008 before making the first of 49 NRL appearances for the club in 2009. The following year he represented New Zealand Maori against England at Mount Smart Stadium and was with the Maori squad again when he was called into the Kiwis’ Four Nations squad two weeks ago to replace Sydney Roosters prop Sam Moa.

In 21 appearances for the Tigers this year Thompson scored six tries and averaged 86 metres and 30 tackles a game.

While he comes into the 2015 squad Bell and McFadden are disappointed to lose Bukuya.

“He’s going back to Sydney for personal reasons and we respect that. We certainly wish him all the best,” said Bell.

McFadden added: “The past season was a challenging one for Jayson but all we want is the best for him and for his family. While his form suffered during the season we appreciate the effort he put in.”

The Vodafone Warriors will have a reduced squad when they begin their offseason pre-Christmas training block tomorrow. New signing Matt Allwood will be among the group but most of the club’s representative players won’t start training until the New Year.

As well as Thompson the others on representative duty are Kiwis Simon Mannering, Manu Vatuvei, Shaun Johnson, Thomas Leuluai, Suaia Matagi and Siliva Havili; Sam Tomkins (England); Ryan Hoffman (Australia); and Dominique Peyroux (Toa Samoa).


Born: August 1, 1988

Birthplace: Tauranga, NZ

Position: Second Row

Height: 185cm

Weight: 107kg

Junior Club: Tauranga City Sharks

Previous Clubs: Gold Coast Titans (2009-2012), Wests Tigers (2013-2014)

NRL Debut: Gold Coast v Newcastle, EvergyAustralia Stadium, May 10, 2009 (Round 9)

NRL Career: 85 appearances 2009-2014

NRL Points: 64 points (16 tries)

Representative: Kiwis 2014 (Four Nations), New Zealand Maori 2010


Warriors Orange Peeler
Charlie Gubb
Simon Mannering
Jacob Lillyman
Sione Lousi
John Palavi

ANNOUNCEMENT | Mannering re-signed
Richard Becht
Sat 12th April 2014, 03:59PM

Vodafone Warriors captain Simon Mannering has underlined his total commitment to the club by today signing a new four-year contract to the end of the 2018 NRL season.

On the eve of the Vodafone Warriors’ sixth-round clash against the Bulldogs at Eden Park, owner Eric Watson said the signing was not only one of the longest but also one of the most significant in the club’s history.

Watson also revealed veteran prop Jacob Lillyman had been re-signed to the end of the 2017 season and back rower Sione Lousi to the end of 2016 bringing to 12 the number of players who have extended their stays in recent times.

“This a signal of how much the Vodafone Warriors mean to Simon, Jacob, Sione and all the other players who have re-signed,” he said.

“It’s also a tribute to the work Dean Bell (general manager football operations) is doing with Wayne Scurrah (chief executive) with our recruitment.”

He hailed Mannering’s contract extension as critical.

“Simon’s signing is a fantastic coup and a huge boost for the club,” he said.

“He is exceptional across the board as our record-holding captain, a player of the highest order and also a person of tremendous quality.

“I’m elated he is extending his career with us to what will be 14 seasons. Only a few in the game today can measure their dedication to one club in such terms.”

The 27-year-old Mannering, off contract at the end of this season, had attracted significant interest from other clubs.

“This is the biggest contract of my career because it could possibly be my last,” he said.

“I love this club and always will. I’m keen to be a part of our future and have the greatest faith in the direction to the club is heading. We have much to offer this season and in years to come.

“It’s not just about football, though. I also have my family to consider. That was a big part of the decision and I’m really happy it has all worked out.”

Andrew McFadden, appointed interim head coach this week, also welcomed the contract extensions announced today.

“I have the greatest admiration for Simon and what he means to the team and the club,” he said.

“It’s the same with Jacob. Like Simon, he’s such an experienced and consistent performer, the type of player we place the highest value on in our squad.

“Sione started the season really well after his injury trouble last year and has a lot to offer us as do all the players re-signed.”

Lillyman (30) has extended his Vodafone Warriors career to nine seasons with his new three-year deal. He became the club’s 22nd 100-game player last season and will play his 168th career match tomorrow. Named the players’ player of the year twice in the first five rounds, Lillyman has been making a big impact off the bench, averaging more than 130 metres a game so far.

Lousi (24) had his 2013 season destroyed before it even started, a knee injury sidelining him for all but a few minutes of the first trial match. He has come back this year to represent the club at the NRL Auckland Nines and claim an NRL spot until he was suspended for two games.

Mannering, who made his NRL debut as an 18-year-old in 2005, will lead the Vodafone Warriors for the 94th time when they face Canterbury-Bankstown at Eden Park tomorrow (4.00pm kick-off; match day sponsor: SKYCITY).

He is five games into his 10th season as an NRL player and his fifth as captain. He has the chance tomorrow to bring up his 50th victory as captain, another first for a Vodafone Warriors captain. He has a record of 49 wins and 44 losses so far while his predecessor Steve Price had a record of 42 wins and 47 losses with two draws.

As well as being set to become the club’s first 100-game captain, he is also in line to become only the second player to play 200 games for the Vodafone Warriors. He sits on 193 heading into the Eden Park game tomorrow and is on track to hit 200 in the first home game of the year at Mount Smart Stadium when the Vodafone Warriors face Newcastle in June.

Apart from Mannering, Lillyman and Lousi, general manager football operations Dean Bell today revealed nine other players have been re-signed recently.

John Palavi, who played the first two NRL games of the year, has been signed to the end of 2016 as has prop Charlie Gubb. Gubb, an NRL Nines representative, made his debut last year and is in line to reappear in the NRL side at Eden Park tomorrow.

Others secured on two-year contracts are former Vodafone Junior Warriors captain David Bhana and NYC prop Sam Lisone, centre Solomone Kata and fullback Brad Abbey. Bhana is now in the fulltime NRL squad and has been named on the Vodafone Warriors’ NRL bench tomorrow while Lisone has appeared for both the club’s NYC and New South Wales Cup sides as well as being the NRL side’s 18th man; Kata, who excelled for the Vodafone Junior Warriors last year, is still NYC-eligible and played at the NRL Auckland Nines; much sought-after St Paul’s College product Abbey, still only 17, will make his sixth consecutive NYC appearance for the Vodafone Junior Warriors tomorrow.

Last month the exciting Tuimoala Lolohea and David Fusitua were re-signed. Still NYC-eligible they both starred for the Vodafone Warriors at the NRL Nines and were also used in the club’s NRL trials. They’ve been used mainly at New South Wales Cup level this year while Fusitua made his NRL debut against St George Illawarra at Eden Park in March. Lolohea has been signed to the end of 2017, Fusitua to the end of 2016.

Just before Christmas prop Suaia Matagi (26), who had an outstanding rookie year in 2013, had his contract extended to the end of the 2015 season. He has appeared in all five NRL matches this year.


Warriors Orange Peeler
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad

Young Melbourne utility signed
Fri 23rd October, 01:21PM

Young Melbourne Storm utility Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad has filled another place in the Vodafone Warriors’ 2016 NRL squad after being signed on a two-year contract.

The signing tops off a week which also saw the 20-year-old make a try-scoring Test debut for the Cook Islands in last Saturday night’s 2017 Rugby League World Cup qualifier against Mate Ma’a Tonga.

In the last two seasons he has scored 16 tries in 37 appearances for the Storm’s NYC side. He collected two awards in 2014 being named Melbourne’s NYC back of the year and receiving the Greg Brentnall Young Achievers’ Award.

The Auckland-born Nicoll-Klokstad will bring backline versatility to the Vodafone Warriors’ squad; he can play in the halves, centres and fullback as well as the wing, where he lined up for the Kukis last week.

“Charnze is a player we’ve been interested in for a while,” said Vodafone Warriors recruitment and development manager Tony Iro.

“He consistently impressed as an NYC player and now takes the next step up. He gives us an option for a lot of positions and certainly has the potential to become an NRL player.”

Nicoll-Klokstad started playing rugby league with the City Newton Dragons where one of his team-mates was 2015 Vodafone Junior Warriors captain Toafofoa Sipley, who will now be one of his team-mates in the Vodafone Warriors’ NRL sqaud. Other Auckland clubs he spent time with included Mount Albert and Richmond.

Nicoll-Klokstad left Auckland for Melbourne when he was 15, linking up with the Altona Roosters enroute to the Storm’s NYC side.

His surname provides an interesting back story. His mother is of Cook Islands-Norwegian extraction while his father is Maori.

He is the sixth player signed to join the Vodafone Warriors for the 2016 season following Kiwi internationals Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Issac Luke plus Ligi Sao, Blake Ayshford, Henare Wells and Jeff Robson.

2016 Vodafone Warriors NRL squad
Backs: Matt Allwood, Blake Ayshford, David Fusitua, Konrad Hurrell, Shaun Johnson, Solomone Kata, Thomas Leuluai, Mason Lino, Tuimoala Lolohea, Ken Maumalo, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Marata Niukore, Jeff Robson, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Manu Vatuvei, Henare Wells, Jonathan Wright

Forwards: Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Charlie Gubb, Ben Henry, Ryan Hoffman, Jacob Lillyman, Sam Lisone, Sione Lousi, Issac Luke,Simon Mannering, Ben Matulino, John Palavi, Upu Poching, Nathaniel Roache, Ligi Sao, Toafofoa Sipley, Bodene Thompson, Albert Vete


Warriors Orange Peeler
David Fusitua
Ata Hingano

New contracts for Fusitu'a and Hingano
Fri 12th December 2014, 01:51PM

Two of the Vodafone Warriors’ most promising players have had their contracts extended by two years.

Rookie NRL winger David Fusitua, off contract next year, has been signed until the end of the 2017 season while 2014 NYC debutant Ata Hingano has been secured until the end of the 2016 season.

The 20-year-old Fusitua, managed by Aucklander Stan Martin, had the distinction of playing for each of the Vodafone Warriors’ three teams in 2014 in the NRL, New South Wales Cup and the NYC.

The Peter Brown-managed Hingano became one of the NYC’s youngest debutants when he was handed his first appearance soon after his 17th birthday; the halfback-standoff had a key hand in the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ progress to their grand final success culminating in him being named the 2014 Counties Manukau Young Sportsman of the Year.

The Vodafone Warriors beat off interest from rival clubs to retain the pair.

“David and Ata are highly regarded by our coaching staff and are certainly two players we see having a big future with the club,” said Vodafone Warriors general manager football Dean Bell.

“They’re local products who have come through our system, both of them making significant progress this year.

“David has already underlined his ability at NRL level while Ata showed what he is capable of despite being the youngest player in our NYC side.”

A Marist Saints junior educated at Kelston Boys’ High School, Fusitua came into the Vodafone Junior Warriors in 2012.

He started the 2014 season playing for each of the club’s teams in the opening three rounds. In round one he scored a try in the New South Wales Cup loss to Wentworthville, made his NRL debut as a late replacement for Manu Vatuvei against St George Illawarra the following week and scored a hat-trick in the NYC team’s 50-12 win over North Queensland in the third round.

He made only two NYC appearances this year, finishing his career with 21 tries in 37 games. In four NSW Cup games he scored three tries in four games while in the NRL he had seven tries in 12 matches giving him a combined tally of 13 tries in 18 games this season.

Hingano, a Pakuranga Jaguars junior educated at Pakuranga College, immediately impressed in his first appearance against Cronulla in April. He went on to play 16 times for the NYC side and scored 67 points.

DAVID Fusitua

Born: October 16, 1994

Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

Position: Wing/Fullback/Centre

Height: 189cm

Weight: 98kg

Junior Club: Marist Saints

NRL Debut: Vodafone Warriors v St George Illawarra, Eden Park, March 15, 2014 (Rd 2)

Club Number: 189

NRL Career: Vodafone Warriors | 12 appearances (2014)

NRL Points: 28 (7 tries)

NSW Cup Career: Vodafone Warriors | 4 appearances (2014)

NSW Cup Points: 12 (3 tries)

NYC Career: Vodafone Junior Warriors | 37 games (2012-2014)

NYC Points: 84 (21 tries)

Representative: Junior Kiwis (2012-2013), NZ Residents 18s (2011)

Educated: Kelston Boys’ High School, Auckland


Born: March 11, 1997

Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

Position: Halfback/Standoff

Height: 182cm

Weight: 84kg

Junior Club: Pakuranga Jaguars

NYC Career: Vodafone Junior Warriors | 16 appearances (2014)

NYC Points: 67 (4 tries, 25 goals, 1 field goal)

Representative: NZ Residents 18s (2014), NZ Residents 16s (2013)

Educated: Pakuranga College


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Issac Luke

BREAKING NEWS | Issac Luke signed
Richard Becht
Fri 8th May, 10:04AM

Vodafone Warriors managing director Jim Doyle has announced the club’s second major signing coup in a month confirming outstanding Kiwi hooker Issac Luke will join the club on a three-year contract at the end of the 2015 NRL season.

The 27-year-old Luke has been granted a release from the last two years of his South Sydney contract opening the way for him to join several fellow Kiwi internationals at Mount Smart Stadium.

His signing follows last month’s announcement that Kiwi and Sydney Roosters fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck had been secured for three years from the end of the 2015 campaign.

It means the Vodafone Warriors will start 2016 with three of the Kiwis’ spine players from the line-up that accounted for the Kangaroos 26-12 in Sunday’s Anzac Test at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane – Tuivasa-Sheck, Luke and halfback Shaun Johnson.

It was Luke’s 33rd Test since his Kiwi debut in 2008 while he has also played 176 NRL games for South Sydney so far.

“I’ve been away from home for a long time now and I really miss it,” he said.

“I’ve loved playing for the Rabbitohs. They’ve done so much for me but I wanted to go back to New Zealand at some stage and I’m grateful they’ve allowed me to go.

“Going home to play for the Warriors has always been something I wanted to do. I know so many of the boys there and I also like what’s happening at the club since Jim has taken over.”

Doyle said Luke’s signing was one of the most significant in the club’s history.

“On top of signing Roger as well, it’s a fantastic coup for us to secure Issac,” he said.

“We are always looking to bring elite players to our club and in Issac we have signed one of the very best there is.”

Vodafone Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden was elated.

“His arrival at the club will provide a massive lift to our side,” he said.

“With the game getting faster and the prospect of the number of interchanges being reduced, 80-minute hookers have become a real asset. Issac is an exceptional dummy half and he underlined that for the Kiwis in the Anzac Test against the Kangaroos. He was outstanding.

“It’s hugely exciting for us knowing Issac and Roger will on board next year.”

While he missed last year’s NRL grand final through suspension, the Hawera-born Luke was a critical contributor to South Sydney’s first premiership in 43 years.

He has also been as integral performer in the Kiwis’ string of international successes in the last seven years. He was used from the interchange bench in the wins in the Rugby League World Cup final in 2008 and the Four Nations final in 2010 while he started in the Four Nations final win last year and again in Brisbane last Sunday when the Kiwis won their third consecutive Test against the Kangaroos.


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Jeff Robson

Veteran Robson signed for 2016
Richard Becht
Wed 30th September, 04:43PM

NRL veteran Jeff Robson has been signed by the Vodafone Warriors on a one-year contract providing a further boost to the club’s depth and experience for the 2016 season.

The off-contract New South Welshman boasts a total of 159 NRL appearances, the last two of which were in the Sharks’ just-ended 2015 finals campaign when they beat the South Sydney Rabbitohs before being eliminated by grand finalists the North Queensland Cowboys.

After starting his NRL career with six games for Manly, Robson spent three seasons with the Parramatta Eels, the first of which culminated in his appearance in the 2009 grand final against Newcastle. He switched to Cronulla in 2012.

Vodafone Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden said Robson would bring both experience and professionalism to the squad.

“It’s great to have Jeff joining us. He’s not only a proven performer but he’s also a durable and totally professional athlete,” he said.

“Like Roger (Tuivasa-Sheck), Issac (Luke) and Blake (Ayshford), Jeff enables us to build our depth as well as giving us another player to help to lift our standards across the squad and throughout the club.”

Robson played all 26 matches for the Sharks this year and has missed only nine games in his four seasons with the club.

Also able to play at hooker and standoff, he has played a total of nine finals matches in four play-off campaigns during his career.

Robson will find familiar faces at the Vodafone Warriors in fellow new signing Blake Ayshford and Jonathan Wright. They were all team-mates at the Sharks while Robson and Wright were also club-mates at Parramatta in 2009-2010.


Date of Birth: August 05, 1982

Birthplace: Leeton, NSW, Australia

Junior Club: Leeton Greenies

Position: Halfback

Height: 176cm

Weight: 87kg

Rep Honours: Nil

NRL Debut: Manly v Cronulla, Brookvale Oval, 23/05/2004 (Round 11)

NRL Career: 159 appearances, 2004-2015

Manly: 6 appearances, 2004-2008

Parramatta: 61 appearances, 2009-2011

Cronulla: 92 appearances, 2012-2015

NRL Points: 109 (27 tries, 1 field goal)



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Hurrell signed until end of 2018
Thu 19th March, 04:53PM

Powerhouse centre Konrad Hurrell has today recommitted to the Vodafone Warriors after signing a new contract to the end of the 2018 NRL season.

The 23-year-old, who’s in just his fifth season in rugby league, quickly won a reputation as one of the game’s most destructive ball runners.

In each of his first three NRL campaigns he has consistently featured among the club’s leading try-scorers with 37 tries in just 57 appearances.

While he’s sidelined with a knee injury for this weekend’s third-round clash against the Parramatta Eels at Mount Smart Stadium (5.00pm kick-off), Hurrell’s ecstatic about his deal.

“I’m so happy to be staying with the Vodafone Warriors,” said Hurrell.

“They brought me into rugby league and I’m so pleased I made the change. I’m having fun playing the game, trying to become a better player and being with the boys.

“This is the only club I want to be with. I love it here.”

Vodafone Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden said retaining Hurrell was another critical step in building the club’s NRL squad.

“Konrad has a huge role to play for us,” he said.

“We saw how much he developed his game last year and there’s still a lot of improvement in him. Koni has made a real impact in the NRL and we know there’s a lot more to come.”

Managed by Richard White and Amon Ta'Akimoeaka from Inventus Sports Management, Hurrell was scouted by the Vodafone Warriors from rugby union in 2010 when he was playing for Auckland Grammar School’s First XV.

He was an instant success in his one and only season in the NYC, scoring 22 tries in 21 games including a double in the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ grand final win in 2011.

In his debut season he finished with 12 tries in 17 appearances, 11 of them in a seven-game streak including a hat-trick against Gold Coast. In 2013 he scored 13 tries in 20 games and 12 in 19 last year.


Date of Birth: August 05, 1991

Birthplace: Tofoa, Tonga

Junior Club: Mount Albert Lions

Position: Centre

Height: 183cm

Weight: 105kg

Other Teams: Vodafone Junior Warriors (NYC), Vodafone Warriors (NSW Cup), Auckland Vulcans (NSW Cup)

Rep Honours: 3 Tests for Tonga 2013, World Cup 2013

Club Number: 172

NRL Debut: Vodafone Warriors v Manly, Eden Park, March 04, 2012 (Round 1)

NRL Career: 57 appearances, 2012-2015

NRL Points: 148 (37 tries)

NYC Debut: Vodafone Junior Warriors v Sydney Roosters, Mount Smart Stadium, April 19, 2011 (Round 5)

NYC Career: 21 appearances, 2011

NYC Points: 88 (22 tries)

Secondary School: Auckland Grammar School and Tonga High School


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Manu Vatuvei

The Beast signed until 2018
Wed 22nd April 2015, 10:57AM

Just days after joining the 200-game club and setting an all-time try-scoring record, Manu Vatuvei has extended his Vodafone Warriors career to a record 15 seasons with a new three-year contract to the end of the 2018 NRL campaign.

The 29-year-old left wing, now in his 12th consecutive NRL season, will make his 202ndappearance when the Vodafone Warriors face the Gold Coast Titans in the club’s first-ever Anzac Day match at Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday (1.45pm kick-off; match day sponsor: Canterbury of New Zealand).

Today’s contract announcement follows Vatuvei’s memorable 200th appearance against Wests Tigers at home on April 11 when he scored two tries in the 32-22 win to equal Nigel Vagana’s record for the most tries in the NRL by a New Zealander (140).

Last Saturday he claimed the record outright with his 141st try – and his sixth in seven games this season – in the heartbreaking 24-28 loss to North Queensland.

“I’m so grateful to the club for giving me the chance to stay here this long,” said Vatuvei.

“My manager Pete (Peter Brown) looked at some other options including rugby union but I wanted to stay at the Vodafone Warriors. It has always been my vision growing up at the club to be a Warrior for life.

“I want to thank everyone who has helped me along the way, the players, the coaches, the staff and all the members and fans who have given me so much support through the years.

“I’m really pleased to have this contract and I’ll do everything I can to repay the faith the club has shown in me.”

Vodafone Warriors managing director Jim Doyle said it was critical the club retained Vatuvei.

“Manu is so important in an all-round sense to the Vodafone Warriors,” he said.

“He’s exceptionally popular with everyone inside and outside the club. We value what he means for us and what he also means to rugby league.”

Vodafone Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden said Vatuvei’s new contract takes him to the next level among NRL players.

“It’s a tribute to Manu and a reflection of the regard we hold him in that he is set to extend his career to 15 seasons. That’s an exceptional achievement,” he said.

“He is hugely important to our side and to the club as a whole. The contribution he continues to make is outstanding and he has certainly started this season very well.”

Only two other players match Vatuvei’s feat of representing the Vodafone Warriors in 12 NRL seasons – Stacey Jones (1995-2005 and 2009) and Jerome Ropati (2003-2014) – while captain Simon Mannering is in his 11th season.

Vatuvei’s try-scoring strike rate is among the best for long-serving players in the game with 141 in 201 games including an impressive 27 in his last NRL 32 games. He now needs only four more tries this year to complete the unprecedented feat of scoring 10 or more tries in 10 consecutive seasons.

He scored two tries in the Kiwis’ victory in last year’s Four Nations final against Australia to overtake Vagana’s record for most Test tries for New Zealand (20 in 27 Tests).

Vatuvei won the NRL’s Favourite Son award last year. At the Vodafone Warriors’ annual awards he was named the SKYCITY players’ player of the year as well as the Canterbury of New Zealand club person of the year. He was also a finalist for the NRL’s Ken Stephen Medal.


2004 5 games 0 tries

2005 12 games 9 tries

2006 18 games 10 tries

2007 23 games 10 tries

2008 17 games 16 tries

2009 19 games 13 tries

2010 19 games 20 tries

2011 19 games 12 tries

2012 20 games 12 tries

2013 19 games 16 tries

2014 23 games 17 tries

2015 7 games 6 tries


Born: March 4, 1986

Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

Position: Wing

Height: 189cm

Weight: 108kg

Junior Club: Otara Scorpions (Auckland)

Other Clubs: Otahuhu Ellerslie (Bartercard Cup), Otahuhu (Auckland)

Vodafone Warriors No: 115

NRL Debut: Vodafone Warriors v South Sydney, Aussie Stadium, May 23, 2004 (Round 11)

NRL Career: 201 appearances for Vodafone Warriors, 2004-2015

NRL Points: 564 (141 tries)

Kiwi No: 720

Test Debut: v Australia, Sydney, October 15, 2005 (Tri Nations)

Test Career: 27 Tests for Kiwis 2005-2014

Test Points: 80 points (20 tries)

Other Teams: NRL All Stars 2010, 2012, 2015; All Golds 2008

Educated: Sir Edmund Hillary College (Auckland)
Last edited:


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Mason Lino



Warriors Holden Cup co-captains Mason Lino and Sam Lisone lift the trophy after their 2014 win.Source: News Corp Australia

Warriors halfback Mason Lino has re-signed until the end of 2017.

The 21-year-old made his NRL debut this year after accepting a lifeline when he had his French contract to join Carcassonne cancelled because of a shoulder injury, suffered during the Warriors’ Holden Cup grand final win in 2014.

Lino, 21, has played three games in first grade this season, with his signature providing cover for Shaun Johnson in the halves.

Lino has re-signed for 2016 only, although the Warriors have an option in their favour to keep him for another season.


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Matt Allwood

ANNOUNCEMENT | Allwood signed
Tue 20th May, 01:47PM

Canberra’s rookie NRL centre Matt Allwood will join the Vodafone Warriors on a three-year contract at the end of the 2014 season.

The 21-year-old has made nine first-grade appearances this year after his debut in Canberra’s first-round clash against North Queensland.

Vodafone Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden knows about Allwoods’ quality from his time as assistant coach of Canberra’s NRL side from 2010-2012.

“I saw Matt come through Canberra’s system into the NYC and was impressed with him from the outset,” he said.

“He’s quick and he’s a tough kid, too. It’s great to have a young player of his ability coming into the club to add to add depth and quality to our centres.

“It will help make the environment really competitive, which is just what we need.”

While excited about linking up with the Vodafone Warriors and working alongside McFadden he said he was indebted to Canberra.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity the Raiders have given me to play at the club from a junior level and to make my NRL debut with them is something I’ll never forget,” he said.

“Although I’ve signed a new deal with the Warriors, I’m still committed to playing out the season for the Raiders and hopefully finishing my time with the club on a high.

“I’m looking forward to working with Andrew McFadden at the Warriors and the chance to continue to build my NRL career.”

Born in Scone in New South Wales, Allwood has represented New South Wales at both under-17 and under-18 levels.

Allwood graduated to Canberra’s fulltime NRL squad last season after making 32 NYC appearances in 2011 and 2012. Last year he played for the Raiders’ feeder club the Mounties in the New South Wales Cup.


Born: November 16, 1992

Birthplace: Scone, New South Wales

Position: Centre

Height: 185cm

Weight: 93kg

Junior Club: Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School

NRL Debut: Canberra v North Queensland, 1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville, March 8, 2014 (Round 1)

NRL Career: 9 appearances 2014

NRL Points: 4 points (1 try)

Representative: New South Wales Under-17 and Under-18


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Raymond Faitala-Mariner

Cant find any official press releases on RFM but a couple of articles would suggest the club took up its option on him for 2016.

First this excerpt from an article in July 2015...

But one young player not sorted for 2016 is Raymond Faitala-Mariner. The Warriors have an option on him for next year, but haven't taken this up yet.

Other NRL clubs are circling the second-rower, with the Bulldogs, Sharks, Titans and Knights all ready to pounce if the Warriors don't keep him.

Then this list provided by the club in the following piece in September...

NRL squad close to completion
Richard Becht
Fri 18th September, 12:34PM


Backs | Matt Allwood, Blake Ayshford, David Fusitua, Konrad Hurrell, Shaun Johnson, Solomone Kata, Thomas Leuluai, Mason Lino, Tuimoala Lolohea, Ken Maumalo, Marata Niukore, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Manu Vatuvei, Henare Wells, Jonathan Wright

Forwards | Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Charlie Gubb, Ben Henry, Ryan Hoffman, Jacob Lillyman, Sam Lisone, Sione Lousi, Issac Luke,Simon Mannering, Ben Matulino, John Palavi, Upu Poching, Nathaniel Roache, Ligi Sao, Toafofoa Sipley, Bodene Thompson, Albert Vete


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Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

Club makes double fullback announcement
Richard Becht
Wed 8th April, 11:03AM

The Vodafone Warriors have today announced fullback Sam Tomkins is to be granted an early release from his contract while also confirming Kiwi international Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has signed a three-year deal from next season.

Vodafone Warriors managing director Jim Doyle said the club had reluctantly agreed to allow Tomkins (26) to return to England a year before the end of his contract in 2016 but it was delighted to secure Sydney Roosters star Tuivasa-Sheck on a long-term contract.

Doyle said while Tomkins was still enjoying his time with the Vodafone Warriors and living in New Zealand he has cited homesickness as an ongoing factor.

“He came here excited about testing himself in the NRL and also experiencing living in a new country but, in the end, Sam has found it too much of a challenge being away from home,” said Doyle.

“While we have talked with him and tried to work through it he has now come back to us to ask for a release at the end of the season.

“It’s disappointing that it has come to this but reluctantly we have accepted there is no option but to allow Sam to return to England.

“For now, though, he is determined to finish his time with the Vodafone Warriors in the best way he can. He’s working to recover from his knee injury as soon as possible so he can regain his spot in the team.”

Tomkins thanked the Vodafone Warriors for their compassionate approach.

“I never imagined it would reach this point,” he said.

“This is a great club and I can’t say enough about the coaching staff. I love being with the lads and it’s a brilliant country to live in but I can only be honest and say I miss home in ways I never thought I would.

“I’m truly grateful to the Vodafone Warriors for agreeing to give me an early release and I am so determined to repay them for their consideration. All I want now is to get back out on the field to help us have a great season.”

Vodafone Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden said making a decision now about Tomkins’ future should prove beneficial.

“This has been hanging over Sam at different times and there’s no doubt it has affected him,” he said.

“Now the way has been cleared and I’m sure he’ll excel once again when he comes back from this injury.

“We’ve seen the quality he provides when he’s in the side. He makes a huge difference to the way we play and I know how determined he’ll be to contribute over the rest of the season.”

While disappointed Tomkins wouldn’t be with the club for the full term of his original contract, McFadden was elated about snaring Sydney Roosters star Tuivasa-Sheck.

“He’s a wonderful talent and a fantastic signing,” he said.

“He’s still only 21 and has already made a real mark in the NRL and also for the Kiwis. To be able to bring a New Zealander back to our club from Australia is massive for us.

“While we’re naturally thrilled and Roger is just as excited about coming home, we both have the same focus for the rest of the year. He’s solely interested in doing all he can for the Roosters just as we know Sam wants to do the same for us.”

Apia-born, Auckland-raised Tuivasa-Sheck, an Otahuhu College product, was in the Roosters’ NRL premiership-winning side in 2013 and also played in the Rugby League World Cup final for the Kiwis the same year. He was named the 2013 Dally M Winger of the Year.


Date of Birth: June 05, 1993

Birthplace: Apia, Samoa

Junior Club: Otahuhu Leopards (Auckland)

Position: Fullback/Wing

Height: 182cm

Weight: 93kg

Rep Honours: 6 Tests for Kiwis 2013-2014, World Cup 2013

NRL Debut: Sydney Roosters v Gold Coast, Allianz Stadium, July 27, 2012 (Round 21)

NRL Career: 62 appearances, 2012-2015

NRL Points: 72 (18 tries)

Secondary School: Otahuhu College (Auckland)


Warriors Orange Peeler
Ryan Hoffman

NRL: Warriors sign Hoffman to three-year deal
By Michael Brown
11:32 AM Thursday May 8, 2014

Ryan Hoffman. Photo / Getty Images

The Warriors have announced the signing of former Australian second-rower Ryan Hoffman to a three-year deal.

The 30-year-old had an offer to stay with Melbourne but was said to have fielded a more lucrative offer from the Warriors and will head to Mt Smart Stadium in 2015.

He has played in four of the Storm's five grand finals in the last eight seasons - 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2012 - missing the fifth in 2008 through injury.

It is the first major new signing for the Warriors but they are also keen on luring Kiwis hooker Issac Luke and former Kiwis centre Steve Matai. Luke is contracted to the Rabbitohs until the end of 2015 but told the Herald on Sunday it would be "great to come home" and play for the Warriors at some stage.

Hoffman found the Warriors' offer too good to refuse.

"I couldn't be happier with the chance to move to Auckland next year," said Hoffman.

"I've had a terrific time with Melbourne and obviously I still have a long way to go before I finish here. That's the immediate focus for me. I want to finish well because this club has done so much for me.

"But along with my family, I'm excited about coming to the Warriors. I've been really impressed with the club and the way they have gone about the process."

Melbourne announced yesterday they had re-signed Tohu Harris until the end of 2017 and they are also keen on keeping fellow second-rower and fellow Kiwi Kevin Proctor which is clouding the picture.

Hoffman has played 229 NRL games for the Storm and also had a stint with Wigan in the UK Super League in 2011 when he played alongside new Warriors fullback Sam Tomkins. He's also turned out eight times for NSW and has played five tests for Australia, the last in 2012.

"I never need reminding about how good the Warriors are," Hoffman said.

"I've played in enough Melbourne sides when we've finished on the wrong side including just a couple of weeks ago in our Anzac Day match.

"They're such a tough side to play against and I really look forward to being part of the club once I get there. I've been fortunate to play in four grand finals so far with the Storm and I'm determined to experience more with the Warriors."

He's a hard-working and intelligent second-rower and his leadership and experience would be valuable additions to a side learning how to win games under interim coach Andrew McFadden. He's a similar player to former Warriors back-rower Micheal Luck, who they have struggled to replace since his retirement in 2012.

The Warriors have money to spend after Kevin Locke announced he's shifting to Salford at the end of the season, although the club recently re-signed the likes of Simon Mannering, Jacob Lillyman and Shaun Johnson to upgraded new deals.

Centre and hooker remain the key targets and a decision is still to be made around veteran dummy-half Nathan Friend who is off contract at the end of the season. Luke's capture would signal the end of his Warriors career.

Warriors acting head coach Andrew McFadden and Hoffman were briefly team-mates at the Storm in 2003 and 2004 as McFadden was ending his playing career and Hoffman was starting his.

"I saw Ryan when he was just coming into the game and he really stood out as a player who would go a long way," said McFadden.

"He's a great professional who has performed exceptionally at the highest levels in the game and on big occasions. He knows what it takes to succeed and will bring fantastic qualities to the Vodafone Warriors."


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Sam Lisone
Solomone Kata
Toafofoa Sipley
Tuimoala Lolohea

Contract extensions for young guns
Richard Becht
Wed 3rd June, 12:24PM

The Vodafone Warriors have today confirmed contract extensions for NRL rookies Tuimoala Lolohea, Solomone Kata and Sam Lisone as well as promising prop Toafofoa Sipley.

After an initial taste of first-grade football last year, the 20-year-old Lolohea has been ever-present this season appearing in all 11 matches so far as have Kata (20) and Lisone (21).

Lolohea and Kata (Mate Ma’a Tonga) and Lisone (Toa Samoa) also made their international debuts in last month’s Pacific Test in Robina.

Vodafone Junior Warriors captain Sipley (20) played his first New South Wales Cup match against the Newcastle Knights on Sunday following a string of impressive performances in the NYC and for the Junior Kiwis.

Lolohea, Kata and Lisone have all been secured to the end of the 2018 NRL season while Sipley, now in his third and final NYC campaign, has been signed to 2017.

“All four players are outstanding examples of how our pathways are working,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden.

“They’ve all been developed through the NYC and have also had experience in our New South Wales Cup side.

“I can’t say enough about the way Tui, Sol and Sam have progressed in the NRL this year. They’ve absolutely grabbed their opportunity to not only claim spots but to establish themselves as first-choice NRL players. Tof has shown he’s right on the same track as well.

“We have great confidence in all four of them playing a significant role in our future.”

Lolohea, Kata, Lisone and Sipley were all in the club’s NYC premiership-winning side last year.

Lolohea and Kata both scored tries in Sunday’s 24-20 win over the Newcastle Knights, the Vodafone Warriors’ third straight NRL victory. It was Kata’s ninth try in 11 games, leaving him just ahead of Manu Vatuvei as the Vodafone Warriors’ leading try scorer so far this season.

Lisone has impressed throughout the campaign with consistent performances from the bench when he has been injected for the experienced Ben Matulino and Jacob Lillyman.

Sipley was named players’ player of the day in consecutive matches by his NYC team-mates before earning promotion to the NSW Cup side last weekend.


Date of Birth: 03/12/1994

Birthplace: Neiafu, Tonga

Junior Club: Howick Hornets

Height: 177cm

Weight: 97kg

Position: Centre

Rep Honours: 1 Test for Mate Ma’a Tonga (2015), NRL Nines (2014-15)

Previous Clubs: Nil

Club Number: 193

NRL Debut: v Newcastle, Hunter Stadium, March 07, 2015 (Round 1)

NRL Career: 11 games (2015), 36 points (9 tries)

Educated: Sacred Heart College


Date of Birth: 19/02/1994

Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

Junior Club: Otahuhu Leopards

Position: Prop

Height: 184cm

Weight: 105kg

Rep Honours: 1 Test for Toa Samoa (2015), NRL Nines (2015), Junior Kiwis (2014)

Previous Clubs: Nil

Club Number: 196

NRL Debut: v Newcastle, Hunter Stadium, March 07, 2015 (Round 1)

NRL Career: 11 games (2015), 0 points

Educated: Tangaroa College


Date of Birth: 23/01/1995

Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

Junior Club: Marist Saints

Position: Fullback/Centre/Wing/Standoff

Height: 177cm

Weight: 92kg

Rep Honours: 1 Test for Mate Ma’a Tonga (2015), NRL Nines (2014-15), Junior Kiwis (2013)

Previous Clubs: Nil

Club Number: 192

NRL Debut: v Manly, Mount Smart Stadium, 27/07/2014 (Rd 20)

NRL Career: 14 games (2014-2015), 16 points (4 tries)

Educated: Kelston Boys’ High School


Date of Birth: 05/01/1995

Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

Junior Club: Richmond Rovers

Position: Prop

Height: 188cm

Weight: 116kg

Rep Honours: Junior Kiwis (2015)

Previous Clubs: Nil

Club Number: Yet to make debut

NYC Career: 43 games (2013-2015), 56 points (14 tries)

NSW Cup Career: 1 game (2015), 0 points

Educated: St Paul’s College


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Shaun Johnson

Johnson secures long-term future
Sat 8th February, 10:14AM

Johnson’s ecstatic about both his new contract and the captaincy appointment.

“It’s been a huge last few days sorting out my future as well as finding out I’ll be captaining the club at the very first Auckland Nines tournament,” he said.

“I can’t say enough about the job Peter (Brown) and the Vodafone Warriors have done in putting together my new contract. I absolutely love being at this club, living in Auckland and being close to family and friends.

“When I signed my last contract I said I wanted to repay everyone who has supported me and the same applies even more now.

“This club, the coaching staff and my team-mates have played a huge role in developing me while my family, friends and our members have given me fantastic support. I always want to give back to them.

“There was other interest but I love playing rugby league. There’s so much to look forward to here as we look to grow and improve and I want to be a part of that as we strive to win the club’s first NRL premiership.

“I’m also massively excited about playing in the Nines and having the experience of leading the team in front of a full house at Eden Park plus our NRL games to follow there early in the season.”

Vodafone Warriors head coach Matthew Elliott hailed Johnson’s contract extension as one of the club’s most significant achievements.

“The fact we’ve extended the contract of one of the most sought-after players around in Shaun is enormously important for our club,” he said.

“It speaks volumes for what we’re seeking to build here, not just in the quality of players we’re able to attract and retain but also in the way they’re helping to create the culture we’re striving to develop and sustain.

“Obviously Shaun is an exceptional football and athlete. He’s also represents the club well and is critical to where we’re going this season and beyond.”

Johnson announced himself to the rugby league world with two outstanding seasons in 2009 and 2010 when he scored more than 400 points in 45 games, including seven goals from seven attempts in the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ NYC grand final win in 2010.

He played 16 games in an eye-catching NRL rookie campaign in 2011 – highlighted by his appearance in the grand final – before following up with 22 appearances in 2012 and all 24 in 2013; since establishing himself in the first-grade side he has played in all but two of the Vodafone Warriors’ last 61 games.
Johnson also played in each of the Kiwis’ seven Tests in 2013 including the Rugby League World Cup final.

The Whangaparaoa-raised Johnson will be a spectator at North Harbour Stadium today as he watches his team-mates begin an intensive 15-day preseason campaign which also takes in the first-ever ‘Clash of the Warriors’ against Wigan at Waikato Stadium on Wednesday (7.30pm kick-off), the NRL Nines next weekend and the final trial against Brisbane at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium on Sunday, February 23 (3.00pm kick-off).


Born: September 9. 1990
Birthplace: Auckland, NZ
Position: Halfback/standoff
Height: 179cm
Weight: 90kg
Junior Clubs: Hibiscus Coast Raiders, Northcote Tigers (Auckland)
Other Clubs: Auckland Vulcans (New South Wales Cup)
NRL Debut: Vodafone Warriors v Sydney Roosters, Sydney Football Stadium, June 4, 2011 (Round 13)
NRL Career: 62 appearances, 2011-2013
NRL Points: 249 (28 tries, 67 goals, 3 field goals)
Club Number: 168
Representative: 8 Tests for Kiwis 2012-2013, World Cup 2013, NZ v Cook Islands 2013, NRL All Stars 2013, NRL Auckland Nines 2014, Junior Kiwis, 2010

Shaun Johnson extends stay with New Zealand Warriors
February 9, 2014
David Long

The New Zealand Warriors have pulled off a major coup by re-signing star halfback Shaun Johnson until the end of the 2017 season.

Johnson, the Kiwi's No.7 - whose current deal expires at the end of this season - would have been one of the most sought after talents in the NRL heading into 2015. Instead, the Auckland club can base its long-term plans around one of the game's best attacking players.

''For something this big about my future, I wanted it to be handled before the season started,'' Johnson said. ''So that when it comes to the time to play, I can focus solely on that and don't need to worry about anything else. I'm very happy that it's been sorted.''

Early signing: Shaun Johnson is sticking with the Warriors until 2017. Photo: Getty Images

At 23, Johnson is approaching his peak years and this deal will keep him at the club until he's 26.

The Bulldogs and Penrith were both linked to Johnson last season. It was reported that the Panthers were prepared to offer him a $2.2 million three-year deal.

While the Warriors haven't announced how much they have paid to keep Johnson, no doubt they have given him a significant pay rise.

''I'm certainly proud of where I am at the moment,'' he said. ''I'm able to stay at the club I've grown up admiring and always wanted to be a part of, and that makes it more special. This is massive for myself and my family and I'm very happy.''

Johnson, who has also been named as captain of the Warriors' team for this weekend's Auckland Nines, said a key factor in him choosing to remain at the Warriors was seeing how ambitious the club was to succeed. That ambition was reflected in the club paying a record transfer fee to sign Sam Tomkins from Wigan this season.

''A big part of where I'm at at the moment is wanting to win a competition and that was massive in determining where I was going to go,'' Johnson said. ''Seeing the players that the club have signed and also who they've retained, played a role in why I'm staying at the club.

''I'm really looking forward to seeing how we go - we've got a chance to do something special and I'm really excited by that.''

Warriors coach Matt Elliott is delighted that he has been able to keep hold of Johnson.

''The fact we've extended the contract of one of the most sought-after players around in Shaun is enormously important for our club,'' Elliott said. ''It speaks volumes for what we're seeking to build here, not just in the quality of players we're able to attract and retain but also in the way they're helping to create the culture we're striving to develop and sustain.

''Obviously Shaun is an exceptional footballer and athlete. He also represents the club well and is critical to where we're going this season and beyond.''

Johnson's snubbing of other offers to commit his future to the Warriors will prevent any chance of a repeat of the issues that hounded his Warriors teammate Feleti Mateo last year.

Mateo negotiated his deal with the Warriors in the middle of the season and admitted it affected his game. But there won't be any such problems with Johnson and he revealed that he wanted to get everything signed off before the new campaign begins.
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