General Warriors Player Roster and Contracts - 2018



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Warriors Player Roster and Contracts - 2018

Your one stop shop for all the latest news on Warriors contracts, contract length and signing news. All news is current at the time of posting. Feel free to PM and admin if any errors are spotted.

Thank you Vancent for your help in compiling this list...
2018 Vodafone Warriors Player Roster


Adam Blair, Agnatius Paasi, Albert Vete, Bunty Afoa, Chris Satae, Isaiah Papali'i, Issac Luke, James Bell, James Gavet, Jazz Tevaga, Karl Lawton, Leivaha Pulu, Ligi Sao, Nathaniel Roache, Patrick Sipley, Peta Hiku, Sam Lisone, Simon Mannering, Tohu Harris Harris.

Anthony Gelling, Ata Hingano, Blake Ayshford, Blake Green, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, David Fusitua, Gerard Beale, Hayze Perham, Junior Pauga, Ken Maumalo, Manaia Cherrington, Mason Lino, Matiu Love-Henry, Peta Hiku, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Shaun Johnson, Solomone Kata, Zac Santo.

2018 Gains

Gerard Beale - Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Adam Blair - Brisbane Broncos
Tohu Harris Harris - Melbourne Storm
Peta Hiku - Warrington
Matiu Love-Henry - Brisbane Broncos
Agnatius Paasi - Gold Coast Titans
Leivaha Pulu - Gold Coast Titans
Blake Green - Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Anthony Gelling - Wigan Warriors
Karl Lawton - Gold Coast Titans

2018/2019 Losses
Tuimoala Lolohea - Wests Tigers 2017 mid-season
Erin Clark Canberra - Raiders 2017 mid-season
Manu Vatuvei - Salford Red Devils 2017 mid-season
Kieran Foran - Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Bureta Faraimo - Hull FC
Ben Matulino - Wests Tigers
Charlie Gubb - Canberra Raiders
Ryan Hoffman - Melbourne Storm
Toafofoa Sipley - Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Matt Allwood - Released
Jacob Lillyman - Newcastle Knights
Bodene Thompson - Leigh Centurions
Ata Hingano - Raiders - Link
Zac Santo - Blackhawks Townsville - Link

Contract Length By Name
Adam Blair - 2020 Link
Agnatius Paasi - 2019 Link
Albert Vete - 2019 Link
Anthony Gelling - 2018 Link
Ata Hingano - 2020 Link
Blake Ayshford - 2019 Link
Blake Green - 2020 Link
Bunty Afoa - 2019 Link
Chanel Tevita-Harris - 2020 ?
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad - 2019 Link
David Fusitua - 2019 Link
Gerald Beale - 2020 Link
Hayze Perham - ? Link Link
Isaiah Papali'i - 2019 Link
Issac Luke - 2018 Link
James Bell - 2018 ?
James Gavet - 2019 Link
Jazz Tevaga - 2018 Link
Junior Pauga - 2018 Link
Joseph Vuna - 2019 Link
Karl Lawton - 2019 Link
Ken Maumalo - 2019 Link
King Vuniyawa - ?
Leivaha Pulu - 2020 Link
Lewis Soosemea - 2019 Link
Ligi Sao - 2019 Link
Manaia Cherrington - 2019 Link
Mason Lino - 2019 Link
Matiu Love-Henry - 2018 Link
Nathaniel Roache - 2020 Link
Pat Sipley - 2018 Link Old link for his contract ending 2017
Peta Hiku - 2020 Link
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck - 2018 Link 2020 Link
Sam Cook - ? Link
Sam Lisone - 2018 Link
Shaun Johnson - 2019 Link
Simon Mannering - 2018 Link
Solomone Kata - 2019 Link
Tevita Satae - 2019 Link
Tohu Harris Harris - 2021 Link
Zac Santo - 2019 Link

Contract Length By Year


Anthony Gelling - 2018
Issac Luke - 2018
James Bell - 2018
Jazz Tevaga - 2018
Junior Pauga - 2018
Matiu Love-Henry - 2018
Pat Sipley - 2018
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck - 2018
Sam Lisone - 2018
Simon Mannering - 2018


Agnatius Paasi - 2019
Albert Vete - 2019
Blake Ayshford - 2019
Bunty Afoa - 2019
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad - 2019
David Fusitua - 2019
Isaiah Papali'i - 2019
James Gavet - 2019
Karl Lawton - 2019
Ken Maumalo - 2019
Ligi Sao - 2019
Manaia Cherrington - 2019
Mason Lino - 2019
Shaun Johnson - 2019
Solomone Kata - 2019
Tevita Satae - 2019
Zac Santo - 2019


Adam Blair - 2020
Ata Hingano - 2020
Blake Green - 2020
Chanel Tevita-Harris - 2020
Gerald Beale - 2020
Leivaha Pulu - 2020
Nathaniel Roache - 2020
Peta Hiku - 2020


Tohu Harris Harris - 2021


Roger Tuivasa-Sheck - 2022

Sam Cook - ?
Hayze Perham - ?
James Bell - ?
King Vuniyawa - ?
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Adam Blair



[Signing] Blair confirmed for three years
Author Richard Becht , Image:
Wed 4 Oct 2017, 12:33 PM
The Vodafone Warriors have today officially confirmed Kiwi captain Adam Blair’s signing on a three-year contract from next season.

Boasting a 266-game NRL career, Blair joins an impressive list of Kiwi captains who have played for the club including Dean Bell, Stephen Kearney, Duane Mann, Matthew Ridge, Quentin Pongia, Stacey Jones and Ruben Wiki as well as his long-time New Zealand team-mate Simon Mannering.

“Securing Adam is critical to our quest for much-needed improvement from next year,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.

“He’s a proven leader on and off the field who sets the kind of example we want all our players to aspire to, the epitome of the professional athlete who demands the highest of standards highlighted by an ultra-competitive attitude.”

Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney has worked closely with Blair as Kiwi coach and also as an assistant coach at Melbourne from 2006-2010 and at Brisbane in 2015 and 2016.

“Adam is a wonderful example of how a player should go about his business in the NRL as well as representing his country,” he said.

“He has had a tremendous career and he’s going to be a huge asset for the club as we go about lifting our standards across the board.”

Blair is the Vodafone Warriors’ fourth new signing for 2018 following back rowers Tohu Harris Harris (Melbourne) and Leivaha Pulu (Gold Coast), who were secured earlier in the year, and centre Gerard Beale (Cronulla) last month. Also revealed last month was the signing of renowned strength and conditioning coach Alex Corvo, who has worked with Blair and Kearney at both Melbourne and Brisbane.

Blair has just completed his third consecutive finals campaign with the Broncos since he moved to the Brisbane club in 2015.

He was in Melbourne’s grand final-winning team in 2009, played in the Storm’s beaten grand final sides in 2006 and 2008 and then for the Broncos when they lost the 2015 decider to North Queensland in extra time.

The Whangarei-born Blair has been one of the NRL’s most durable players.

He played all 27 games for the Broncos this year and has averaged 24 games a season in his last 10 campaigns, missing just 15 of a possible 257 games.

He has been ever-present in the Kiwis’ title successes during his 41-Test career, starting at prop in the landmark Rugby League World Cup victory over Australia in 2008 and in the Four Nations successes against the Kangaroos in 2010 and 2014. He also played in the 2006 Tri Nations final and was involved in the Kiwis’ Four Nations campaigns in 2009, 2011 and 2016; the only major tournament he has missed has been the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

Blair is set to lead the Kiwis at this year’s Rugby League World Cup. The New Zealand squad will be named tomorrow.


Date of Birth: March 20, 1986

Birthplace: Whangarei, New Zealand

Junior Club: Northland Carvers

Position: Prop

Height: 1.88m

Weight: 109kg

Rep Honours: 41 Tests for Kiwis (2006-2017):

Four Nations (2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2016)

Rugby League World Cup (2008)

Tri Nations (2006)

NRL Debut: Melbourne v Wests Tigers, Leichhardt Oval, April 2, 2006 (Round 4)

NRL Career: 266 appearances (2006-2017):

Melbourne: 121 appearances (2006-2011)

Wests Tigers: 71 appearances (2012-2014)

Brisbane: 74 appearances (2015-2017)

NRL Points: 44 points (11 tries)
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Agnatius Paasi

League: Warriors sign prop Agnatius Paasi
6 Nov, 2017 2:40pm

Agnatius Paasi of the Titans is tackled by the Bulldogs defence in round 25. Photo / Getty Images

The Warriors have completed the signing of former Gold Coast Titans prop Agnatius Paasi with the 25-year-old inking a two-year deal.

The one-test Tongan international becomes the third former Warriors player to return this off-season, joining outside back Peta Hiku and forward Matiu Love-Henry.

Paasi, who debuted with the Warriors in 2014, made 54 appearances for the Titans across three seasons. He enjoyed a superb Auckland Nines tournament in 2016 that propelled him into a strong season where he played all 25 games for the Titans.

But injury restricted the aggressive and skillful prop to just 11 games this year before he sought a release from the Titans.

"Agnatius became available after being released on compassionate grounds so he and his family could return home," said Warriors CEO Cameron George.

"We're excited to be able to add him to our roster. He's another aggressive forward, just the type Stephen (Kearney) is after as we look to boost our front row resources."
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Albert Vete

Warriors re-sign Vete

25 Jul, 2017 4:54pm

Albert Vete during a Vodafone Warriors training session. Photo /

The Warriors have re-signed Albert Vete.

The Auckland club have agreed terms on a new deal with the 24-year-old Vete, concluding negotiations that have been ongoing since the early rounds of the season.

It's positive news for the Tongan international, who is currently sidelined with a broken arm though may return to action next month.

Vete's retention looked unlikely a few months.

After starting the first three games of the season, Vete wasn't sighted in first grade for almost two months, as James Gavet, Sam Lisone and Ligi Sao moved ahead of him on the pecking order.

But Vete returned to action in round 12, and was impressive in the wins over the Broncos and Titans, as well as the narrow loss to Parramatta in Sydney.

Ultimately those performances - and his underlying potential - have convinced the club to invest in him for another two years, despite his untimely injury.

The club's front row stocks still look thin for 2018, with the departure of Ben Matulino (Tigers), Toaf Sipley (Manly) and the probable exit of Charlie Gubb, which is why the Warriors are actively seeking reinforcements in that area.

*Article edited to remove all Jacob Lillyman content
Ata Hingano
Blake Ayshford
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Toafofoa Sipley
Joseph Vuna
Lewis Soosemea
Mason Lino

Warriors' Ata Hingano agrees new NRL deal
13 Jun, 2017 4:17pm

Ata Hingano. Photo /

Two of the Warriors' most promising youngsters have been locked in for the future, while an experienced member of their backline has also agreed to new terms.

Ata Hingano and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad were both confirmed on new contracts on Tuesday, while Blake Ayshford has also signed until the end of the 2019 season.

However that positive news was offset by the loss of prop Toaf Sipley, who choose to chase first grade opportunities at Manly after being completely overlooked at Mt Smart this year.

"We were keen for Toaf to stay and made a good offer but it hasn't been enough to keep him here," said Warriors recruitment manager Tony Iro.

"While it's disappointing to lose players who come through our system, we wish Toaf all the best."

After playing for the club's NYC and Intrust Super Premiership sides, Sipley graduated to make two NRL appearances last year.

Standoff Hingano (20) will remain with the Warriors until the end of the 2020 NRL season after signing a three-year contract.

After making his NRL debut late last season, he featured in the club's first three games this year and scored his first career try when he made his sixth first-grade appearance off the bench in Saturday's victory over the Titans.

Utility Nicoll Klokstad (21), the club's 2016 Intrust Super Premiership player of the year, has been re-signed on a two-year contract.

He was called up for his NRL debut against the Sydney Roosters on April 30 and appeared in each of the next three games against Penrith, St George Illawarra and Brisbane, scoring doubles against the Panthers and the Dragons.

"While it's disappointing to lose players who come through our system, we wish Toaf all the best."

After playing for the club's NYC and Intrust Super Premiership sides, Sipley graduated to make two NRL appearances last year.

Standoff Hingano (20) will remain with the Warriors until the end of the 2020 NRL season after signing a three-year contract.

After making his NRL debut late last season, he featured in the club's first three games this year and scored his first career try when he made his sixth first-grade appearance off the bench in Saturday's victory over the Titans.

Utility Nicoll Klokstad (21), the club's 2016 Intrust Super Premiership player of the year, has been re-signed on a two-year contract.

He was called up for his NRL debut against the Sydney Roosters on April 30 and appeared in each of the next three games against Penrith, St George Illawarra and Brisbane, scoring doubles against the Panthers and the Dragons.

The 157-game veteran Ayshford (29) has extended his stay until the end of the 2019 season after appearing in 33 games for the Warriors so far.

Halfback Lino (23), who captains the ISP side, has also been secured for two seasons. He was used in three NRL games at the end of the 2016 season and continues to provide back-up to the NRL squad's halves as an integral performer for the ISP team.

"These are all key signings for us as we continue to work towards settling our squad for next year," said Iro.

Wing Lewis Soosemea (19) and second rower Joe Vuna (18), both signed on two-year deals, have been frontline performers for the Junior Warriors after making their debuts in the grade as 17-year-olds.

Mangere East Hawks junior Soosemea has made 45 NYC appearances since 2015 scoring 25 tries including nine in 13 games this season.

He also made his ISP debut last year and represented the Warriors at this year's NRL Nines as well as playing in the club's NRL trial against Melbourne on the Sunshine Coast.

Vuna has played 36 NYC games, appearing 22 times last year and in all 14 games so far this season. He was also in the NRL Nines squad in February.
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Blake Green

[Signing] Green secured until 2020
Richard Becht
Tue 21st November, 09:13AM

Seasoned standoff Blake Green has been secured by the Vodafone Warriors on a three-year contract.

Signed until the end of the 2020 NRL season, the 31-year-old is moving to Auckland after helping the Manly Sea Eagles surge to sixth this season from 13th in 2016.

He’s the Vodafone Warriors’ eighth new signing after Tohu Harris Harris (Melbourne), Leivaha Pulu (Gold Coast), Gerard Beale (Cronulla), Adam Blair (Brisbane), Peta Hiku (Warrington), Matiu Love-Henry (Brisbane) and Agnatius Paasi (Gold Coast).

“We’re delighted we’ve been able to sign a player of Blake’s calibre,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.

“He wasn’t off-contract but became available through circumstances. It couldn’t have worked out better for us. He’s a terrific player and his experience in winning titles and playing so much finals football will be of huge benefit to us.

“His presence will add both depth and intense competition among the halves, which is exactly what we’re after. On top of that his background at a number of clubs in the NRL and Super League makes him an ideal mentor for our young halves.”

The Vodafone Warriors will become Green’s sixth NRL club and his eighth in all counting Hull Kingston Rovers and Wigan.

He began his first-grade career with Parramatta in 2007 before establishing himself with Canterbury-Bankstown in 2010 following just 19 games in two seasons with Cronulla in 2008 and 2009; he had his first taste of finals football with the Sharks in 2008 and has now appeared in a total of eight NRL finals matches plus Super League play-offs and two Old Trafford grand finals as well as the Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

His one-season stint with the Sea Eagles in 2017 followed two with Melbourne when he played in the 2016 grand final and was in the Storm side stopped one win short of the decider in 2015 by eventual premier North Queensland.

Green spent four seasons in the English Super League with Hull Kingston Rovers and the Wigan Warriors from 2011-2014, savouring the Challenge Cup-Super League grand final double with Wigan in 2013. He won the Harry Sutherland Trophy as man of the match in the Super League decider at Old Trafford while he was in the grand final again in 2014 when Wigan lost to St Helens.

Green has played a combined total of more than 200 top-grade games in the NRL and the Super League.


Date of Birth: September 19, 1986

Birthplace: Fairfield, NSW, Australia

Junior Club: Cabramatta

Position: Standoff

Height: 1.79m

Weight: 97kg

Rep Honours: Australian Schoolboys

Previous Clubs: Parramatta (2007), Cronulla (2008-2009), Canterbury-Bankstown (2010), Hull Kingston Rovers (2011-2012), Wigan (2013-2014), Melbourne (2015-2016), Manly (2017)

NRL Debut: Parramatta v Canberra, Parramatta Stadium, April 7, 2007 (Round 4)

NRL Career: 117 appearances (2007-2010 & 2015-2017):

Parramatta: 6 appearances (2007)

Cronulla: 19 appearances (2008-2009)

Canterbury-Bankstown: 18 appearances (2010)

Melbourne: 50 appearances (2015-2016)

Manly: 24 appearances (2017)

NRL Points: 64 (16 tries):

Parramatta: 0

Cronulla: 4 (1 try)

Canterbury-Bankstown: 8 (2 tries)

Melbourne: 40 (10 tries)

Manly: 12 (3 tries)

Super League Career: 89 appearances (2011-2014):

Hull Kingston Rovers: 40 appearances (2011-2012)

Wigan Warriors: 49 appearances (2013-2014)

Super League Points: 144 (36 tries):

Hull Kingston Rovers: 72 (18 tries)

Wigan: 72 (18 tries)
Bunty Afoa
Jazz Tevaga
Ken Maumalo
Solomone Kata
Patrick Sipley

Vodafone Warriors secure Kata until 2019

A contract extension signed today will keep outstanding centre Solomone Kata at the Vodafone Warriors until at least the end of the 2019 NRL season.

The 21-year-old Tonga international has missed just one of a possible 38 matches since making his first-grade debut against Newcastle in the opening round of the 2015 season.

The specialist left edge centre, who has 22 tries in his 37 games, was the team’s top try-scorer with 12 last year and he again leads this year with 10 in 13 appearances.

In confirming Kata’s contract, Vodafone Warriors recruitment and development manager Tony Iro also announced deals for five of the club’s other most promising young players.

Giant wing Ken Maumalo (21) and 2016 NRL rookie Jazz Tevaga (20) have signed to the end of the 2018 season and the club’s 2015 Vodafone NYC player of the year Bunty Afoa (19) has been secured to the end of 2019.

“Sol has made fantastic progress jumping straight from the NYC into the NRL last year,” said Iro.

“He has proved to be not only one of the game’s most damaging centres but also one of the most consistent. The NRL coaching staff are hugely impressed with him.

“We’ve moved to secure him long-term and we’re also delighted with the way Ken, Jazz, Bunty, Erin and Pat are developing. It’s especially pleasing for us seeing Sol, Ken, Jazz, Bunty and Erin come through our NYC side while Pat shows there’s a pathway from local football as well.”

Kata, Maumalo, Tevaga and Afoa were all in the club’s NYC premiership-winning side in 2014.

Kata’s rapid rise from rookie to first-choice NRL centre follows an impressive introduction to rugby league after playing First XV rugby union for Sacred Heart College in Auckland.

After scoring 11 tries in 17 matches in the 2013 NYC season, he was used sparingly in the grade in 2014 as he was developed in the club’s reserve grade side. He returned for the NYC finals, scoring a hat-trick and winning the Jack Gibson Medal in the grand final. He made 34 consecutive NRL appearances following his debut before his run was broken by a one-match suspension last month.

Tevaga, an ISP regular, made the first of his six NRL appearances this season against Melbourne in round three while Afoa, who has played more than 50 NYC games, made his ISP debut last year, was reintroduced to the side last week and has been named to line up in the grade again this week.

Jazz Tevaga


The Warriors continue to strengthen their roster with crafty hooker Jazz Tevaga signing a new two-year-deal.

Playing understudy to Issac Luke, Tevaga made his NRL debut earlier this year with the Warriors moving swiftly to prevent rivals pinching the 20-year-old.

While there was interest from other NRL clubs, Tevaga decided to stay in Auckland to learn under Luke.

Luke and Tevaga now both come off contract at the end of 2018 but the Christchurch product can play a number of positions.

Tevaga was lock in the junior Warriors’ 2014 NYC grand final winning team.

Tevaga inked a new contract last Friday with the club expected to announce the signing shortly.
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David Fusitua
Isaiah Papali'i
Junior Pauga

New Kiwi David Fusitua re-signs with Warriors until 2019

David Fusitua has re-signed with the Warriors until the end of the 2019 NRL season.

The Warriors have confirmed the signing of outside back David Fusitua on a new three year deal while also locking away a couple of promising youngsters.

Fusitu'a is coming off his best season in the NRL, capped this week when he was named in David Kidwell's Kiwis squad for the test against Australia and subsequent Four Nations.

The 21-year-old utility made his first grade debut in 2014 but was plagued by injury in previous seasons.

However, he featured in each of the Warriors' last 18 matches, scoring 11 tries to lift his career tally to 20 tries in 33 games.
Fusitu'a was shuffled between wing, centre and fullback but he had no complaints and was simply happy to string a run of games together.

"My goal this year was to stay on the field," he said.

"I've been hampered by a few injuries over the last few years so it was good to be able to play most of the games this season. It has been a huge tick for me in terms of my personal development.

"Nothing was too new to me (playing various positions). I played a bit of everything coming up through the grades. It's a much higher level doing it in the NRL but the boys helped me through it this year."

Fusitu'a has been in the Warriors system for several years and his signing is crucial for the club.

As well as he played this season, there's the sense he's only scratching the surface of his potential.

And as long as he stays healthy, Fusitu'a is likely to be a key weapon in new coach Stephen Kearney's backline for years to come.

"David's a special talent and he showed that consistently throughout the 2016 season," Warriors recruitment and development manager Tony Iro said.

"It was impressive seeing how well he performed every game while being moved between the wing, the centres and fullback."

While Fusitu'a has signed on to the end of the 2019 season, the Warriors have also secured under-20s players Junior Pauga and Isaiah Papalii for two and three years respectively.

Pauga (20) scored eight tries in 23 appearances in his second and last NYC season and made his debut in the club's NSW Cup side.

Mount Albert Grammar School pupil Papalii, meanwhile, has fashioned an impressive record in both league and rugby as well as being a powerlifting champion.

The Junior Kiwi representative was one of a host of 17-year-olds who made their debuts for the Junior Warriors this year.

Papalii played 11 NYC matches in a year when he was unavailable for much of the season due to schoolboy rugby commitments, including being named the New Zealand first XV player of the year.
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Hayze Perham commits to the New Zealand Warriors
21 Sep, 2017 8:00am

PROFESSIONAL: Rotorua Boys' High School first XV captain Hayze Perham has signed for NRL side the New Zealand Warriors. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER

Things might be looking up for the New Zealand Warriors as they have signed a young Rotorua player with all the makings of a future superstar.

It has been a tough couple of years for the Auckland-based NRL side, but this month they confirmed the signing of 18-year-old Rotorua Boys' High School first XV captain Hayze Perham.

"Obviously I know how big a change it will be going from schoolboy rugby to a professional lifestyle, so it is daunting but exciting as well," Perham told the Rotorua Daily Post.

"I've been playing rugby and league through school, but knew I had to decide between them this year. The turning point was the Warriors were able to offer me a fulltime commitment - the goal was always to leave school and fully focus on the craft, on improving and getting better as an athlete."

He said Rotorua Boys' High School had played a "huge" role in his development as an athlete.

"Looking at the other big rugby schools, they haven't supported league players in a rugby school as well as Rotorua Boys' have done. The rugby coaches and the principal Mr Grinter are really supportive of rugby players trying to make a career out of league - they don't cut down our options and I'm really grateful for them letting me choose my own path."

The highlight of his time playing rugby at Rotorua Boys' High School was winning the national top four tournament in 2015 and he was honoured to captain the side this year.

Like most young Kiwis, his ultimate goal in the long run was to play for the All Blacks, but he was looking forward to forging a career as a rugby league player.

"I've always followed the NRL, the game is really exciting. It's quite different, it's faster and I guess you could say more exciting at times.

"The base skills - passing and kicking - are the same, but the big difference I'd say is the tackling technique. It's a real technical aspect of league, like wrapping the ball, staying in tight and wrestling up top."

Rotorua Boys' High School first XV coach Ruki Tipuna said the Warriors had signed an exceptional talent.

"When I was at school I played with a lot of good players, some really good players who went on to be All Blacks. Hayze is as good as anyone I've played with or seen play at this stage. He's a really talented kid.

"He does a lot of things well, but if you had to pinpoint one it would be his attack, his ability to stand up defenders and his ability to beat a player one-on-one. But, he's also good at putting other guys away and setting other guys up, he's pretty unselfish," Tipuna said.

He will join the NRL squad at the end of the year, when he has finished school, and will be shoulder to shoulder with some of the world's best rugby league players.

"I'll be training every day with the NRL team and the coaches will decide if I play in the under-20s, the reserve grade or if I get called up into the NRL team."

He prefers to play in the halves or at fullback - positions currently filled in the Warriors side by Kiwi stars Shaun Johnson and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

"That was a huge factor in me going to the club - those are two of the best players in the world in those positions. I'm not really there to try and compete against them, it's more of a learning curve to absorb everything I can from them.

"It's a huge opportunity to not only get better on the field, but off the field as well. I'll be asking them a lot of questions and hopefully they're supportive of that."

Perham said he was very aware of the fact professional sports careers could be short-lived and for that reason it was important for him to finish his education.

"They've actually been really good, they're letting me finish all my school work and focus on that before I join the team. You have to have a back up, you're one injury away from the end of your career so I'm trying to get my university entrance and have something there to support my league career."


LEADER: Perham was honoured to captain the Rotorua Boys' High School first XV this year. PHOTO/FILE

He said it was rare for someone so talented to also have such a desire to work hard.

"He's already a hard worker now, he's really grounded and humble. It blows me away, I wish I was a bit more like that when I was younger and I'm sure other people do as well.

"We're stoked for him, I'd love to see him play rugby because I'm a rugby man myself and he's a great rugby player, but we're really happy for him. It couldn't happen to a better boy and I'm pretty sure he will push on to higher honours."
Gerald Beale

[Signing] Beale confirmed for three years
Author Richard Becht , Image:
Fri 8 Sep 2017, 03:58 PM

With the contract signed only today, the Vodafone Warriors have been able to confirm Kiwi and Cronulla utility Gerard Beale will join the club on a three-year deal from next season.

The 27-year-old 2016 NRL premiership winner is the club’s third new signing after back rowers Tohu Harris Harris (Melbourne) and Leivaha Pulu (Gold Coast) were secured earlier in the year.

“While there has been a lot of discussion about Gerard coming to the club, we weren’t in a position to make an announcement until his contract had been officially signed by both parties,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.

“Now the formalities have been completed, we’re delighted to have him included in our 2018 squad. He was a premiership winner with Cronulla last year and brings exceptional NRL and international experience.”

Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney said Beale would be invaluable for the club.

“Gerard is professional in all he does and has a wonderful attitude,” he said.

“The way he has overcome adversity with injuries earlier in his career shows the sort of character he has. He’s going to be a great addition to our squad with his ability to play in all the positions in the outside backs.”

Heading into the 2017 finals this weekend, Beale has played 161 NRL matches and scored 44 tries in a nine-season career which has seen him used at fullback, centre and on the wing.

He was 18 when he made his NRL debut for Brisbane in 2009, his only match that year, followed by 10 more appearances in 2010. He also played 31 matches for the Broncos in the NYC from 2008-2010.

Brisbane-born Beale, who is of Maori heritage, played for the Junior Kangaroos in 2010 but switched allegiance and made the first of 10 Test appearances for the Kiwis in 2011.

After 63 matches with the Broncos from 2009-2012, Beale spent the next two seasons with St George Illawarra – the first cut short by a season-ending knee injury – before linking with the Sharks in 2015.

He has appeared 70 times for Cronulla. In his 20 matches so far this year he has been used predominantly on the wing, scoring seven tries and averaging 11 runs and 109 metres a game.


Date of Birth: July 18, 1990

Birthplace: Brisbane, Australia

Junior Club: Logan Brothers (Queensland)

Position: Fullback/wing/centre

Height: 1.81m

Weight: 93kg

Rep Honours: 10 Tests for Kiwis (2011-2016), Four Nations (2011, 2014, 2016)

NRL Debut: Brisbane v Manly, Suncorp Stadium, May 10, 2009 (Round 9)

NRL Career: 161 appearances (2009-2017):

Brisbane: 63 appearances (2009-2012)

St George Illawarra: 29 appearances (2013-2014)

Cronulla: 69 appearances (2015-2017)

NRL Points: 176 points (44 tries):

Brisbane: 80 (20 tries)

St George Illawarra: 40 (10 tries)

Cronulla: 14 tries (56 tries)
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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.
James Gavet
Leivaha Pulu

[Signings] Gavet and Pulu confirmed
Richard Becht
Tue 23 May 2017, 12:45 PM


Vodafone Warriors front rower James Gavet has had his contract extended to the end of 2019 while New Zealander Leivaha Pulu will move to Mount Smart Stadium from the Gold Coast Titans on a three-year contract next season.

Both aged 27, the two big forwards have also been late developers at first-grade level.

Gavet has played 18 of his 32 career games with the Vodafone Warriors since the start of 2016 and Pulu started his 34-game NRL career in round one last year.

“They both bring size and plenty of enthusiasm and aggression in the way they play the game,” said Vodafone Warriors recruitment and development manager Tony Iro.

“James was in our NYC and NRL squads in 2009 and 2010 and always had potential. It has taken him time to get to this level but he has had a really impressive season since coming back into our first-grade side in round four.

“We’ve been interested in Leivaha for a while. He has worked hard for his opportunity in the NRL and has made a real impact since joining the Titans.”

Gavet – 1.89m and 108kg – followed his only NYC campaign in 2009 with a year in the Vodafone Warriors’ NRL squad in 2010, playing for the now-defunct Auckland Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup (now the Intrust Super Premiership) without breaking into the NRL side.

Moving to Sydney he went on to earn his NRL debut in his only first-grade appearance for Canterbury-Bankstown in 2012 before stints with Wests Tigers and Brisbane.

When he returned home to Auckland last season, the Kelston Boys’ High School fought through the offseason to gain a contract, playing his maiden NRL game for the Vodafone Warriors against his old Tigers side in round one.

Pulu – 1.92m and 115kg – left Auckland as a teenager to attend renowned rugby league nursery Keebra Park State High School on the Gold Coast.

A Marist Saints junior, he made 35 NYC appearances for Wests Tigers in 2009 and 2010 before having links with NSW Cup sides Western Suburbs, Windsor Wolves and Wyong Roos as well as an offseason with Lezignan Sangliers in France.

Pulu was picked up by the Titans on a one-season deal for 2016 and finished up playing in 23 of the club’s 25 games. He has been ever-present for Gold Coast this year and also made his Test debut for Mate Ma’a Tonga in its win against Fiji earlier this month.

Iro said the Vodafone Warriors would be making more recruitment announcements in the coming weeks.


Date of birth: October 19, 1989

Birthplace: Sydney, NSW

Junior Club: Richmond Rovers

Position: Prop

Height: 1.89m

Weight: 108kg

Rep Honours: 1 Test for Toa Samoa (2016)

Previous Clubs: Canterbury-Bankstown (2012), Wests Tigers (2013-14), Brisbane (2015)

NRL Debut: Canterbury-Bankstown v Brisbane, ANZ Stadium, August 8, 2012 (Round 23)

Club Debut: v Wests Tigers, Campbelltown Sports Stadium, March 5, 2016 (Round 1)

NRL Career:

32 appearances (2012-2017):

1 for Canterbury-Bankstown (2012)

12 for Wests Tigers (2013-2014)

1 for Brisbane (2015)

18 for Vodafone Warriors (2016-2017)

NRL Points: 8 points (2 tries)


Date of Birth: March 27, 1990

Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

Junior Club: Marist Saints (Auckland)

Position: Prop

Height: 1.92m

Weight: 115kg

Rep Honours: 1 Test for Mate Ma’a Tonga (2017)

NRL Debut: Gold Coast v Newcastle, Cbus Super Stadium, Robina, March 5, 2016 (Round 1)

NRL Career: 34 appearances for Gold Coast (2016-2017)

NRL Points: 16 points (4 tries)
Ken Maumalo

NRL: Warriors secure future of Ken Maumalo
4 Jul, 2017 8:56pm


Ken Maumalo scores a try. Photo / Photosport.

The Warriors may be losing Manu Vatuvei, but they have secured the future of the "mini-Beast".

While Vatuvei is unlikely to see out the final year of his NRL contract, as he chases a Super League deal, the club is close to agreeing a new contract with fellow wing Ken Maumalo.

That will see Maumalo retained at Mt Smart until at least the end of the 2019 season, and possibly beyond, and is a timely fillip for the Warriors.

The 22-year-old has been the most improved player at the Warriors this year, consistently one of the best on field each week.

He has displayed a harder edge this season, has ironed the mistakes out of his game and become more solid overall, especially with his work under the high ball. He has also developed into the best yardage man at the club and done what had seemed impossible over the past decade - allow the Warriors fan base to imagine a future without Vatuvei.

Maumalo is averaging more than 150 running metres per game, and has become the crucial element at the beginning of their attacking sets. He has also topped 160 metres on six occasions, and was key to the recent wins over the Titans and Bulldogs.

And - like Vatuvei did as his career progressed - Maumalo is also becoming more than just a battering ram. Although he has a long way to go to match the extraordinary numbers of Vatuvei, he is developing into a genuine finisher on the flank.

Maumalo didn't score a try in his first seven NRL games in 2015, before grabbing a consolation touchdown in the 50-16 loss to the Cowboys. Last year, his return was similarly modest, with just one try from 10 games.

But in 2017 he has crossed for six tries, including the stunning 70 metre effort against the Bulldogs and other vital ones against the Broncos, Eels and Titans.

And defensively he has become more proficient. There are still things to work on, including a tendency for the arm grab, but Maumalo is becoming more proactive in defence.

His extension will soften the blow of Vatuvei's departure, which is expected to be confirmed by next week. Salford aren't the only suitors for his signature - there are other Super League clubs in the mix - but the Manchester team remain the most likely destination.

The final negotiations will be around financial matters. It hinges on whether Vatuvei will request a straight release from his contract in 2018, or some kind of compromise is reached where the Warriors may still pick up some of his salary next year.

There is also a chance that Vatuvei could request an immediate release, and play some of the current Super League season. This seems less likely though.
Ligi Sao
Zac Santo

[Signings] Vodafone Warriors secure duo
Richard Becht , Image:,
Mon 29 May 2017, 03:10 PM


The Vodafone Warriors have re-signed Ligi Sao until the end of the 2019 NRL season and secured Canberra fullback-wing Zac Santo for the rest of this season and next on a second-tier contract.

Sao (24) returned home last season after a three-year stint with Manly which netted 21 NRL appearances from 2013-15.

Used in an interchange capacity in seven games so far this season, Sao had an injury-hampered campaign with the Vodafone Warriors in 2016 which included his first NRL appearance for the club against Canterbury-Bankstown in Wellington.

Santo (24) made his NRL debut with North Queensland in 2014 and has been used twice at first-grade level since joining the Raiders in 2016. A regular for Canberra’s feeder club the Mounties in the Intrust Super Premiership, he was named at fullback in the ISP team of the year last season.

“Ligi has been a great acquisition for us, bringing his experience from Manly and helping to give us depth among our middle forwards,” said Vodafone Warriors recruitment and development manager Tony Iro.

“We’ve been following Zac for a while and we’re excited he has become available in mid-season to give us more options in our outside backs.”

Sao and Santo become team-mates at the Vodafone Warriors almost six years after they were opponents in the NYC grand final in 2011. Santo scored two tries for the Cowboys in a match which was level 30-30 after 80 minutes before Sao and his Vodafone Junior Warriors went on to take the title with a golden point extra-time field goal.

Townsville born and raised Santo has featured in the NRL Nines tournament at Eden Park every year. He was in North Queensland’s title-winning side in 2014 and again represented the Cowboys in 2015 while he was in Canberra’s line-up the last two years.

His only NRL appearance this year was at fullback in the Raiders’ season-opening clash against his old North Queensland side in Townsville.

Santo is due to begin training with the Vodafone Warriors tomorrow.


Date of birth: October 11, 1992

Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

Junior Club: Manurewa Marlins

Position: Prop/Loose Forward

Height: 1.87m

Weight: 109kg

Rep Honours: Nil

Previous Clubs: Manly (2013-15)

NRL Debut: Manly v North Queensland, 1300SMILES Stadium, July 14, 2013 (Rd 18)

Club Debut: v Canterbury-Bankstown, Westpac Stadium, April 16, 2016 (Rd 7)

NRL Career: 30 appearances (2013-17)

21 for Manly (2013-15)

9 for Vodafone Warriors (2016-17)

NRL Points: 8 points (2 tries)


Date of Birth: April 8, 1993

Birthplace: Townsville, Queensland

Junior Clubs: Charters Towers Miners, Townsville Brothers (Queensland)

Position: Fullback/Wing

Height: 1.75m

Weight: 85kg

Rep Honours: Nil

NRL Debut: North Queensland v St George Illawarra, Jubilee Oval, July 5, 2014 (Rd 17)

NRL Career: 3 appearances for North Queensland (2014), Canberra (2016-17)

NRL Points: 4 points (1 try)
Manaia Cherrington

[Signing] Cherrington joins club
Fri 9 Jun 2017, 10:58 AM


Former Wests Tigers and Cronulla hooker Manaia Cherrington is joining the Vodafone Warriors for the rest of this season and next on a second-tier contract.

A member of the Kiwis’ squad in England in 2015, the 22-year-old has been granted an immediate release from his one-year contract with the Sharks.

He is set to debut for the Vodafone Warriors’ Intrust Super Premiership side against the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in west Sydney on Sunday (1.00pm kick-off local time; 3.00pm NZT).

Cherrington was signed by the Vodafone Warriors after Erin Clark approached the club seeking a release from his contract.

Clark, who made his NRL debut against Melbourne in round two this season, has been used mainly at NYC level this year.

“Erin’s management sought a release on personal grounds,” said Vodafone Warriors recruitment and development manager Tony Iro.

“It’s disappointing for Erin but he has our support and best wishes for the future.

“Fortunately, we were able to secure Manaia as a replacement. He has come through the system with Wests Tigers as well as being involved with both the Junior Kiwis and the Kiwis.”

Whangarei-born Cherrington made 45 NYC appearances for Wests Tigers in 2013-2014 before going on to his NRL debut for the club, playing a total of 16 first-grade matches in 2015 and 2016. He also toured England with the Kiwis in late 2015 although he didn’t play in any of the three Tests.

First a Junior Kiwi in 2013, he led the national under-20 side to a 15-14 victory over the Junior Kangaroos at Mount Smart Stadium in 2014.

Clark made his NYC debut for the Vodafone Junior Warriors as a 17-year-old in 2015. He made 27 appearances that season and took his career total to 45 this year. He was used 14 times at ISP level last season and once this year.


Date of birth: August 3, 1994

Birthplace: Whangarei, NZ

Junior Club: Quakers Hill Destroyers (Sydney)

Position: Hooker

Height: 1.77m

Weight: 85kg

Rep Honours: Kiwis (2015), Junior Kiwis (2013-2014)

Previous Clubs: Wests vTigers (2015-2016), Cronulla (2017)

NRL Debut: Wests Tigers v Gold Coast, Leichhardt Oval, June 5, 2015 (Rd 13)

NRL Career: 16 appearances for Wests Tigers (2015-2016)

NRL Points: 4 (1 try)
Matiu Love-Henry
Peta Hiku

Homecoming for Hiku and Love-Henry
Richard Becht , Images:
Mon 9 Oct 2017, 02:04 PM


Utility Peta Hiku and back rower Matiu Love-Henry are both returning to the Vodafone Warriors after stints overseas.

Hiku (24), named in the Kiwis’ Rugby League World Cup squad last week, has signed for three years after being granted an early release from his contract with the Warrington Wolves in the English Super League.

Taupo-raised Love-Henry, who played 32 NYC games for the Vodafone Junior Warriors in 2014-2015, is coming home after two years with the Brisbane Broncos where he played for the Norths Devils in Queensland’s Intrust Super Cup. He has a one-year deal.

“We’re delighted to be able to secure Peta, a player who brings us not only international experience but also a background in both the NRL and the Super League,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.

“Another benefit is the working relationship he has with Stephen (Kearney) through his time with the Kiwis.

“Matiu didn’t manage to break into the NRL with Brisbane but Stephen was impressed with his development and attitude when he was at the Broncos.”

Hiku is the fourth Kiwi international the Vodafone Warriors have secured for 2018 and beyond, joining Kiwi captain Adam Blair, second rower Tohu Harris Harris and backline utility Gerard Beale along with 2017 Mate Ma’a Tonga international Leivaha Pulu.

In his only NYC season in 2012, Hiku made 23 appearances for the Vodafone Junior Warriors and was named the club’s Vodafone NYC Player of the Year. He spent the next three seasons with Manly, quickly earning his NRL debut and going on to score 28 tries in 60 games while being used at fullback, wing and centre. He moved to Penrith in 2016 before joining Warrington where he scored 10 tries in just 11 appearances.

Making his Test debut in 2014, Hiku was a key contributor to the Kiwis’ Four Nations triumph covering the fullback position for the injured Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

He joins fellow new signings Blair and Beale in the Kiwis at RLWC2017 along with Simon Mannering, Shaun Johnson and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.


Date of Birth: December 4, 1992

Birthplace: Gisborne, New Zealand

Junior Club: Manurewa Marlins

Position: Utility back

Height: 1.86m

Weight: 98kg

Rep Honours: 9 Tests for Kiwis (2014-2015), Four Nations (2014)

Previous Clubs: Vodafone Warriors (2012), Manly Sea Eagles (2013-2015), Penrith Panthers (2016-2017), Warrington Wolves (2017)

NRL Debut: Manly v Cronulla, Brookvale Oval, April 14, 2013 (Round 6)

NRL Career: 80 appearances 2013-2017:

Manly: 60 appearances (2013-2015)

Penrith: 20 appearances (2016-2017)

NRL Points: 142 (34 tries, 3 goals):

Manly: 118 (28 tries, 3 goals)

Penrith: 24 (6 tries)

Super League Career: 11 appearances for Warrington (2017)

Super League Points: 40 (10 tries)

NYC Career: 23 appearances for Vodafone Junior Warriors (2012)

NYC Points: 24 (6 tries)


Date of Birth: October 2, 1995

Birthplace: Rotorua, New Zealand

Junior Club: Taupo Phoenix

Position: Second row

Height: 1.85m

Weight: 105kg

Rep Honours: NZ Residents 18s (2013)

Previous Clubs: Vodafone Warriors (2014-2015), Brisbane Broncos (2016-2017), Norths Devils (2016-2017)

NRL Debut: Yet to make debut

NYC Career: 32 appearances for Vodafone Junior Warriors (2014-2015)

NYC Points: 52 (13 tries)
Nathaniel Roache

[Signing] Roache secured until 2020
Richard Becht , Image:
Wed 1 Nov 2017, 02:51 PM
Roache 2a

Hooker Nathaniel Roache has been signed by the Vodafone Warriors for a further two years.

The 21-year-old will now remain at Mount Smart Stadium until the end of the 2020 NRL season.

Named the club’s 2016 Vodafone NRL rookie of the year, the Mount Albert Lions junior has made a total of 20 first-grade appearances since his debut in the opening round last year.

“Nate is a big part of our plans,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney.

“He’s an impressive young man with a terrific attitude and work ethic.”

Roache, who played 40 times for the Vodafone Junior Warriors from 2014-2016, is one of 11 players from the club’s 2014 NYC title-winning grand final side who have gone on to play at NRL level.

He has also played 18 times for the club’s Intrust Super Premiership side.


Date of Birth: April 15, 1996

Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

Junior Club: Mount Albert Lions

Position: Hooker

Height: 1.80m

Weight: 92kg

Rep Honours: Junior Kiwis (2016)

Previous Clubs: Nil

NRL Debut: v Wests Tigers, Campbelltown Sports Stadium, March 5, 2016 (Round 1)

NRL Career: 20 appearances (2016-2017)

NRL Points: 4 (1 try)

ISP Career: 18 appearances (2015-2017)

ISP Points: 20 (5 tries)

NYC Career: 40 appearances (2014-2016)

NYC Points: 52 (13 tries)
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.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

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)
Sam Lisone

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.

Sam Lisone

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
Shaun Johnson

Shaun Johnson re-signs with New Zealand Warriors until end of 2019 NRL season

Into his seventh season with the Auckland club, for whom he made his NRL debut, Johnson had been pondering his future for several months. The chance to acquire a player of his considerable talents understandably attracted the interest of several other clubs.

The 29-year-old admitted that meant it had been "a bit of a journey" to put pen to paper on a new deal.

A journey that included some "very open and honest conversations" with the Warriors and managing director Jim Doyle.

With all the factors weighed up and a decision finally made, Johnson was confident he had made the right call, for the right period of time.

"[Two years] is enough time to really see where the club is heading," he said.

"We have a new coaching staff this year, they would have found their feet by then and moulded the club into what they want. I'll be 29 by the time this contract is up, that's a good point for me as well to re-evaluate."

When the time comes to do that, Johnson clearly hopes it will result in the same decision.

While he wouldn't be drawn on whether he would finish his career in Auckland, the fleet-footed No 7 said he had committed to help the club achieve success and saw no reason why that would only last for two more seasons.

Johnson also spoke highly of head coach Stephen Kearney and the plans and structures head he had put in place.

The feeling was mutual, Kearney expressing his pleasure at securing the services of player thought by many to be key to the club's aspirations of a maiden NRL premiership.

"He's pretty important to us ... I'm really pleased he has committed to club and I'm looking forward to working with him [more]," he said.

"He had to work through a few things and wanted to see where the club was heading.

"I've laid the plan out to everyone on how we want to build this club, so he was well aware of that.

"He is an important part of that, as are Roger (Tuivasa-Sheck) and Simon (Mannering)."

Whether Johnson's halves partner Kieran Foran, who is being linked with moves back to Sydney, also fits into that bracket after this year remains to be seen.

Johnson reiterated the team's desire to see Foran stay, and their respect for whatever decision he eventually made.

But he also made it clear that, and his own contract situation, had not been his focus.

He felt he had done a good job of prioritising his on-field performance, despite the team's three win and five loss start to their 2017 campaign.

"That was one of the things I was wary about ... but I've felt really good with my footy, I haven't started a season as well as I have this year.

"I've just enjoyed every minute out on the field. This group is really close and I love being round the boys."

That's something he can look forward to more of. For the next two and a half years at least.

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