General Warriors Player Roster and Contracts - 2019

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Nathaniel Roache - RE-SIGNED

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

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)


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Peta Hiku - SIGNED


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 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)


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Roger Tuivasa-Sheck - RE-SIGNED

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[BREAKING NEWS ] Tuivasa-Sheck signed for four years
Tue 27 Feb 2018, 04:37 PM

Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has reinforced his commitment to the Vodafone Warriors by signing one of the longest deals in the club’s history, ensuring he’ll remain at Mount Smart Stadium until the end of the 2022 season.

The four-year signing coup was announced by Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George at the club’s official season launch at SKYCITY tonight.

“As one of the game’s most exceptional athletes, Roger understandably attracted lots of interest, so we couldn’t be more delighted to have him onboard for another four years,” he said.

“Still only 24, he embodies all the qualities we want to see in our players.

“This is hugely significant for both Roger and the Vodafone Warriors, not only critical for our future but also for Roger in paving the way for him to truly establish himself as a leader for the club on and off the field. He’s the type of person we can build our club around.”

Tuivasa-Sheck is entering his third season since joining the Vodafone Warriors. His first campaign in 2016 was limited to seven appearances after a season-ending knee injury before he returned to feature in all but one game in 2017.

“I’m excited knowing my future will be with the Vodafone Warriors for another four years after this season,” said Tuivasa-Sheck.

“I’m also glad to be able to sort it out now before the season starts.

“We’ve had some challenging times but all of us are working really hard to turn things around this season and in the years ahead.

Wanting to be part of that was a huge factor in my decision - Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

“Wanting to be part of that with everyone at the club was a huge factor in my decision to stay with the Vodafone Warriors.”

Tuivasa-Sheck was named the club’s 2017 Vodafone NRL Player of the Year and also the New Zealand Rugby League’s Player of the Year following the Rugby League World Cup.

“Roger’s a wonderful player and also a wonderful person,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney.

“He sets an example in all he does as a player on the field and in all aspects of training as well as looking after himself off the field.

“He’s a tremendous asset for the Vodafone Warriors and has a huge appetite to improve each and every day.”

Tuivasa-Sheck warmed up for his seventh NRL campaign with a quality performance in the Vodafone Warriors’ 20-14 trial win over the Gold Coast Titans on Saturday.

With 11 tries and 30 appearances for the Vodafone Warriors, he has a career tally of 39 tries in 114 first-grade games.


Date of Birth: June 05, 1993
Birthplace: Apia, Samoa
Junior Club: Otahuhu Leopards (Auckland)
Position: Fullback
Height: 182cm
Weight: 93kg
Rep Honours: 16 Tests for Kiwis (2013-2017), World Cup (2013, 2017)
NRL Debut: Sydney Roosters v Gold Coast, Allianz Stadium, July 27, 2012 (Round 21)
NRL Career: 114 appearances, 2012-2017
NRL Points: 156 (39 tries)
Secondary School: Otahuhu College (Auckland)


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Sam Lisone - RE-SIGNED


Vodafone Warriors sign Lisone until 2020
Mon 19 Feb 2018, 02:43 PM

Front rower Sam Lisone has signed a new two-year contract to keep him at the Vodafone Warriors until the end of the 2020 NRL season.

Lisone, who turned 24 today, was off-contract at the end of this season but has recommitted to the club in a deal which will extend his Vodafone Warriors career to at least six seasons.

Preparing for his fourth campaign since his debut in 2015, the Toa Samoa international has clocked up 63 appearances so far – he missed just one game in 2017 – leaving him in line to join the club’s 100-game club some time during the 2019 campaign.

“We’re delighted we’ve been able to keep Sam here despite interest from other clubs,” said Vodafone Warriors general manager football Brian Smith.

“He’s another example of a player who has come through our system and has developed into a really important member of our NRL squad. He now has the opportunity to step up to the next level and to continue improving his game.”

An Otahuhu Leopards junior, Lisone was snared by the Vodafone Warriors after standing out for Tangaroa College.

“It’s awesome knowing I have another two years here,” said Lisone.

“I’ve learned so much at the club over the last few years from the experienced players in the squad and it’s been great having Blairy here to help the younger forwards like me. Now it’s time to step up and take on more responsibility.”

Lisone had a stellar NYC career, finishing it in the 2014 grand final when he played his milestone 50th game in helping the Stacey Jones-coached Vodafone Junior Warriors to the premiership.

By round one of the 2015 season, Lisone was making his NRL debut against Newcastle and went on to play 19 times in his rookie year, following it up with 21 appearances in 2016. In his first two seasons he started just three times but was a starting forward in seven matches last year including each of the last six games.


Date of birth: February 19, 1994
Birthplace: Auckland, NZ
Junior Club: Otahuhu Leopards
Position: Prop
Height: 184cm
Weight: 106kg
Rep Honours: 4 Tests Samoa (2015-2017)
Previous Clubs: Nil
NRL Debut: v Newcastle, Hunter Stadium, 07/03/2015 (Rd 1)
Vodafone Warriors No: 196
NRL Career: 63 appearances (2015-2017)
NYC Career: 50 appearances (2013-2014)
NYC Points: 60 (15 tries)
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Shaun Johnson - RE-SIGNED

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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Solomone Kata - RE-SIGNED


Kata secured
Richard Becht , Image:
Thu 23 Jun 2016, 10:33 AM

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.

Vodafone Junior Warriors utility Erin Clark (18) and back rower Ofahiki Ogden (20), who have both been given ISP experience this season, have deals to the end of 2017 while prop Patrick Sipley (24), older brother of rookie NRL front rower Toafofoa, also has a one-year deal; Sipley was introduced to the ISP side last season and has again been used by coach Stacey Jones this year.

“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.

Maumalo played eight NRL games last year after debuting against Parramatta. He came back into the NRL team for the first time this year replacing the injured Manu Vatuvei for last Sunday’s 12-10 win over the Sydney Roosters; he’s in the side again for this week’s encounter with Cronulla.

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.

This weekend Clark again starts at loose forward for the NYC side against Cronulla while Sipley is on the bench for the ISP team against North Sydney at Mount Smart Stadium #2 on Saturday.


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Adam Keighran - SIGNED
Adam Pompey - SIGNED
Eliesa Katoa - SIGNED
Jackson Frei - SIGNED
Neyla Masima - SIGNED
Paul Turner - SIGNED
Selestino Ravutaumada - SIGNED
Taane Milne - TRIAL


New faces at preseason training
Thu 8 Nov 2018, 01:41 PM

Several new faces are among the players on deck for the Vodafone Warriors' NRL preseason training programme.

General manager football Brian Smith has confirmed contract formalities have now been completed for former Penrith halfback Adam Keighran, who joins the club's 2019 NRL squad.

Keighran has appeared 26 times at Intrust Super Premiership level for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (2017) and the Penrith Panthers (2018).

A left-footed goal kicker, he scored 202 points in 23 games for Penrith this year (10 tries, 81 goals).

Fiji Bati centre Taane Milne, who played 18 NRL games for St George Illawarra in 2016-2017, has been signed on a trial contract as has another back Adam Pompey. He made 40 under-20 appearances for the Sydney Roosters in 2017 and 2018 and also debuted in the ISP for the Wyong Roos this year.

Signed on a development contract is prop Jackson Frei, another ex-Sydney Roosters under-20 and Wyong Roos ISP player.

Others confirmed on development contracts are:

• Paul Turner, a Northland rugby league product, who has been promoted from the Vodafone Warriors' Jersey Flegg squad.
Eliesa Katoa, a much sought-after, athletic rugby union No 8 from the Tamaki College First XV.
• Selestino Ravutaumada, who starred for both the Rotorua Boys' High School First XV and First XIII; he also played for the New Zealand Secondary Schools (rugby league) in 2017.

Another player signed from a rugby union background is highly-touted back rower Neyla Masima, who starred for St Patrick's College, Silverstream, which again won Wellington's First XV title this year. He will join the club's Jersey Flegg under-20s squad for 2019.
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James Gavet - RELEASED


James Gavet granted release
Fri 9 Nov 2018, 11:23 AM

The Vodafone Warriors have today agreed to release front-rower James Gavet from the final year of his contract.

Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George said the club wouldn't stand in Gavet's way and thanked him for his service over the last three years.

"James has been a good servant of this club and always gave it his all on the footy field," George said.

"But he's been given a great opportunity and we wish him all the best for the future."


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Tohu Harris - SIGNED

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck captain, Tohu Harris signed
Wed 1 Feb 2017, 03:10 PM

Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney has today named fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck as the club’s 2017 NRL captain while also confirming Kiwi second rower Tohu Harris has been signed on a four-year deal from 2018.

Kearney has additionally announced veteran second rower Simon Mannering as the club’s 2017 vice-captain.

“These are critical decisions we’ve made in the club’s best interests for not just this season but also for our future,” said Kearney.

“We’ve given the captaincy a lot of thought throughout the offseason before reaching this point.

“Roger offers all the qualities we want from our players. He is a true professional in the way he goes about all he does, providing a wonderful example for players to follow. He’s also one of our leaders and has many years left in the game.

“Simon will give him the support he needs as vice-captain. It’s important to have him in the role because he epitomises everything our club stands for.”

Kearney paid tribute to veteran second rower Ryan Hoffman, who led the side last year.

“Hoff has given the Vodafone Warriors tremendous service as a player since joining us in 2015 and as captain last season,” he said.

“As one of our leaders he’ll still have a critical leadership role to play this year. That won’t change.

“What we’ve done is to look further ahead with not just the captaincy but also the make-up of our squad.

“It’s exciting to bring Roger in as our new captain and to also secure Tohu Harris from next season. He’s a wonderful forward, still young and very much at the top of his game. I certainly look forward to having him with us next year.”

Tuivasa-Sheck (23) said he was honoured to become the Vodafone Warriors’ 11th captain after Dean Bell (1995), Greg Alexander (1996), Matthew Ridge (1997-1999), John Simon (2000), co-captains Stacey Jones and Kevin Campion (2001), Monty Betham (2002-2004), Steve Price (2005-2009), Mannering (2010-2015) and Hoffman (2016).

“I was really humbled when Mooks offered me the position,” said Tuivasa-Sheck.

“It’s a huge privilege to be captain of my club and I’m excited about taking on the added responsibility. I want to do all I can to help the Vodafone Warriors become the club we all want it to be.”

Mannering, 31 this year, said he would give not just Tuivasa-Sheck but the entire team all the support he could.

“I stepped aside from the captaincy last year and enjoyed the chance I had to focus more on my own job as a player,” he said.

“Mooks has come on board and asked me to take on the vice-captain’s job. I’m happy to do it if he thinks it’s in the team’s best interests. For me it’s all about trying to make our club the best it can be.”

In his reign as captain Mannering led the Vodafone Warriors a club record 136 times and added a 137thmatch in charge when he took over from Hoffman for a game last year.

Hastings born and raised Harris (25), off-contract with Melbourne this year, said he was thrilled about the chance to link up with the Vodafone Warriors.

“I’ve had a great time with the Storm and I owe them so much for what they’ve done for me,” he said.

“Coming home to play for the Vodafone Warriors is a fantastic opportunity, though. The club has a great roster with so many Kiwi boys there and being back in New Zealand closer to family is a big attraction.

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

Harris has made 103 NRL appearances for Melbourne since debuting in 2013 while he has played 16 Tests for the Kiwi


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Matiu Love-Henry - RELEASED
Junior Pauga - RELEASED
Patrick Sipley - RELEASED


Seagulls Sign Warriors Trio
WMS News
October 22, 2018
By Seagulls Media

The BMD Wynnum Manly Seagulls have boosted their playing ranks for next season with the signing of Matiu Love-Henry, Junior Pauga and Patrick Sipley.

All three players were members of the NZ Warriors full-time squad this season and will call BMD Kougari Oval home in 2019.

A bollocking edge back-rower, Love-Henry was a dominant player in the Intrust Super Cup with the Norths Devils from 2016-17 and returns to Brisbane looking to continue his NRL aspirations.

The 23-year-old is a consistent performer who ran for over 1,800 run metres this season with the Warriors.

Pauga was a big prospect coming out of the Warriors U20s system but cruelly suffered an ACL tear at the end of the 2017 season.

However the 22-year-old centre/winger showed that he has a bright future, averaging 5 tackle breaks a game in his return from injury at the end of 2018.

Standing at 190cm tall and 116kg, Sipley will bring size and power to the Red and Green.

The 26-year-old front rower is a damaging ball runner who amassed over 676 post-contact metres with the Warriors in 2018.

Seagulls CEO Hanan Laban said the Club was delighted to secure the three players to Wynnum Manly.

“It is a very positive sign that these three young NRL aspiring players have chosen Wynnum Manly to further their careers.

Each of these players will bring hunger and desire every day they come to work to improve their personal development and that of the team.

Importantly, they are all good young men who will make a positive contribution to our Club and the local community.”


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Simon Mannering - RETIRED


Mannering to retire at end of season
Richard Becht &
Wed 18 Jul 2018, 10:02 AM

Record-holding Vodafone Warriors stalwart Simon Mannering has today announced the 2018 NRL campaign will mark the end of his 14-season career with the club.

The 31-year-old’s decision follows his announcement five weeks ago that he had retired from international football after 45 Tests for the Kiwis from 2006-2017.

Nelson-raised Mannering said he had wrestled with his decision for several weeks.

“It has taken a while to reach this point but I’m now comfortable with the decision I’ve finally made,” he said.

“It hasn’t been easy that’s for sure. There has been a lot to think about. I’ve really enjoyed this season and that was one of the factors that was playing on my mind.

“I’m really grateful to the Vodafone Warriors for giving me the time I needed. It’s a big call when you consider retirement, even more so having played my whole career for this great club.

“It’s not over yet, though. There are still a lot of games to be played and I want to do all I can to help the team and the coaching staff in our bid to finish this season as well as we possibly can.”

Mannering was 18 when he made his Vodafone Warriors debut off the bench in the 30-18 10th anniversary clash against Brisbane at Mount Smart Stadium on June 26, 2005.

On Sunday he’ll make his 294th appearance when the club marks its Michael Moore Trophy match against Melbourne with “The Greatest Vodafone Warriors Charity Day”. It leaves him on track to become the first player to make 300 appearances for the club and only the second New Zealander to join the 300-club after former Canberra and Vodafone Warriors great Ruben Wiki.

Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney said Mannering’s decision marked a sad day for the club.

“I’d love Simon to play on forever but sadly the time comes when players have to make the call to finish,” he said.

“I know how difficult this would have been for him. He loves playing footy and he loves this club so it’s a really significant day for him and for all of us.

“Being the type of person he is Simon doesn’t want any fuss made about it. That’s not his style but he deserves all the accolades and attention he’ll receive.”

Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George paid tribute to Mannering for his contribution to the club.

“It’s difficult to put into words just how much Simon has done for the Vodafone Warriors on and off the field and what he means to us and to members and fans alike,” he said.

“Above all he’s a champion player and a champion person who epitomises what a Vodafone Warrior is all about.

“It’s a tough day for all of us knowing this will be Simon’s last season, more so because of the loyalty he has shown by being one of that select group of players who have been with just one club their whole career.

“This Sunday gives everyone a great opportunity to be at Mount Smart Stadium to show their appreciation for Simon.”

While Mannering is not a man for stats, the numbers emphasise the magnitude of his efforts across 14 seasons. He has been on the field almost 22,000 minutes – or close to 370 hours – while carrying the ball more than 27,000 metres (an average of 95 metres a game) and making more than 9300 tackles (an average of about 32 tackles a game).


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Mason Lino - RELEASED


Lino granted release by Vodafone Warriors
Richard Becht &
Tue 25 Sep 2018, 11:59 AM

The Vodafone Warriors have today confirmed halfback Mason Lino has been granted a release to continue his NRL career in Australia.

The 24-year-old was recently given permission to test the market after making just 17 NRL appearances since his debut late in the 2015 season.

“It’s not an easy decision to let Mason go because he is the epitome of a true club man and we all love having him around,” said Vodafone Warriors general manager football Brian Smith.

“He has been totally dedicated to the Vodafone Warriors but we didn’t want to stand in the way of him having a look at options with other clubs.

“His opportunities for NRL football have been limited here and he has more than earned the right to look at the chance of more regular exposure.

“While we’re sorry to see Mason go we’re also excited for him and wish him all the best.”

Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney said Lino had demonstrated the values the club stood for.

“Mason has always provided a wonderful example to everyone at the club,” he said.

“He has been totally loyal and supportive in all he does. When we needed him he came into the side and did a really good job for us every time.

“He certainly goes with our blessing and leaves a tremendous legacy.”

Coming through the Vodafone Warriors’ development system, Lino debuted for the club’s National Youth Competition side in 2012.

“It’s tough leaving the club because it has been my home and I’m so thankful for all the opportunities I’ve had here but I’m also excited about what’s ahead for me,” he said.

Lino finished his NYC career with more than 500 points in 62 games from 2012-2014 and added another 65 matches and more than 400 points for the Intrust Super Premiership side since his debut in the grade in 2014.

He scored three tries in eight games at NRL level this year as an injury replacement for Shaun Johnson and Blake Green.


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Joseph Vuna - RELEASED

League: Warriors youngster Joseph Vuna to put NRL career on hold for Mormon mission

3 Oct, 2018 4:52pm
2 minutes to read

Warriors youngster Joseph Vuna is set to put his NRL career on hold while he embarks on a Morman mission. Photo / Photosport.
NZ Herald

The Warriors are resigned to losing one of their best young forwards temporarily with Joseph Vuna set to take a break from the NRL to embark on a Mormon mission.

The 20-year-old second-rower has indicated to the club that he will not be on deck next season as he prepares to put his career on hold while he follows his faith.

Vuna made four appearances for the Warriors this season, coming off the bench on three occasions before earning his first start and playing the full 80 minutes in the round 20 loss to the Gold Coast Titans.

His good form throughout the year was rewarded on Monday when he was named in the Junior Kiwis side to face their Australian counterparts in the curtain raiser to next week's transtasman test between the Kiwis and Kangaroos at Mt Smart Stadium.

That match is expected to be his last playing appearance at least for the next 12 months but the Warriors hope he will return to the fold and fulfil his playing potential in 2020.

"There's not a thing we can do about it other than offer Joseph our blessing and hope that he comes back in a year's time and wants to take up the reins again," said Warriors general manager of football Brian Smith.

"And we certainly hope that in 12 months' time he can come back and get into pre-season training with us."

Vuna's decision will see him follow the same path as fellow NRL stars William Hopoate, Young Tonumaipea and Kiwi international Jordan Rapana who have all left the game to complete a mission.

The Otahuhu junior was born in California and left the US to move to New Zealand with his family as a child. He is also the younger brother of former Wallaby and ex-Tongan league international Cooper Vuna.


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Lachlan Burr - SIGNED


Vodafone Warriors boost back row depth
Richard Becht
Mon 19 Nov 2018, 05:11 PM

The Vodafone Warriors’ back row depth has been boosted for the 2019 NRL season following official confirmation of second rower Lachlan Burr’s two-year contract.

The 26-year-old is among a number of new faces onboard for the club’s preseason training campaign.

He joins the Vodafone Warriors after stints with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the Gold Coast Titans in the NRL while he also spent the 2017 season in England where he appeared for the Leigh Centurions and the Sheffield Eagles.

An Australian Schoolboys representative in 2010, Burr played NYC football for the Bulldogs before making his only NRL appearance for the club in 2013.

A two-season term with the Titans in 2015 and 2016 netted 23 NRL outings before his move to England.

He returned to the Bulldogs this year, helping the club to victory over Newtown in the Intrust Super Premiership title decider followed by success against Redcliffe in the National State Championship encounter on the NRL’s grand final day at ANZ Stadium. Named the Bulldogs' 2018 ISP player of the year, Burr averaged 120 metres and 24 tackles in his 23 appearances.


Born: September 27, 1992
Birthplace: Sydney, NSW
Junior Club: Revesby Heights Rhinos (Sydney)
Position: Second row/loose forward
Height: 188cm
Weight: 102kg
Rep Honours: Australian Schoolboys 2010, NRL Auckland Nines, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (2014), Gold Coast Titans (2015-2016)
FG Debut: Canterbury-Bankstown v Penrith, ANZ Stadium, August 31, 2013 (Rd 25)
NRL Career: 24 appearances (2013-2016):
Canterbury-Bankstown: 1 appearance (2013)
Gold Coast: 23 appearances (2015-2016)
NRL Points: 4 (1 try)
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Warriors Orange Peeler
Shaun Johnson - RELEASED

Vodafone Warriors grant Johnson a release
Richard Becht &
Wed 28 Nov 2018, 08:42 AM

Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George today announced halfback Shaun Johnson has requested and been granted a release from the last year of his contract in 2019.

George said the release was effective immediately.

“Yesterday (head coach) Stephen Kearney, (recruitment manager) Peter O’Sullivan and I met with Shaun and his manager Peter Brown,” he said.

“During the meeting Shaun clearly demonstrated to us that he didn’t want to be at the club in 2019.

“On the basis of what Shaun told us, we are not going to compromise our culture on and off the field with people who do not wish to represent our club, members and fans in the way we expect.

“Everything we do is about the club being first and what’s best for our future, our development and ultimately our results.

“While it’s disappointing it has come to this, we must acknowledge the contribution Shaun has made to the Vodafone Warriors. We’re proud of what he has achieved at the club and wish him the best for the future.”

Johnson finishes his Vodafone Warriors career with 917 points from 162 appearances.



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Kodi Nikorima -SIGNED


Vodafone Warriors snare Nikorima
Richard Becht &
Fri 3 May 2019, 09:59 AM

Kiwi international Kodi Nikorima is to join the Vodafone Warriors immediately after being snared from Brisbane through to the end of the 2021 NRL season.

Vodafone Warriors chief executive Cameron George confirmed the Palmerston North-born 25-year-old Nikorima would be in line to make his Vodafone Warriors debut when they face St George Illawarra in the NRL’s inaugural Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday, May 11 (5.30pm kick-off).

“We couldn’t be more excited to secure a player of Kodi’s calibre, especially at this stage of the season,” said George.

Peter O’Sullivan and our recruitment team have done a terrific job in securing Kodi
Cameron GeorgeVodafone Warriors chief executive
“We’ve been patient in watching the player market for some time. Peter O’Sullivan and our recruitment team have done a terrific job in securing Kodi, who will certainly add value to our club.”

Nikorima joins the Vodafone Warriors after making 86 appearances for the Broncos, the last of them in last Saturday night’s 29-6 win over Cronulla. In his rookie season in 2015 he was on the bench in Brisbane’s golden point grand final loss to North Queensland.


A Kiwi debutant the same year, he has now played 13 Tests, starring at halfback in the Kiwis’ 2018 end-of-season internationals against Australia and England. He was the man of the match in the 34-0 third Test win over England at Elland Road in November.

Kodi will bring a lot to our club with his ability and experience,” said Vodafone Warriors general manager football Brian Smith.

“He’ll also be a huge help around the club in helping to mentor our young halves.”

Nikorima will arrive in Auckland this weekend and will be at Mount Smart Stadium to watch the Vodafone Warriors take on Newcastle on Sunday
I’m really excited about coming to the Vodafone Warriors and moving to Auckland
Kodi NikorimaNew Vodafone Warriors signing
“I’m really excited about coming to the Vodafone Warriors and moving to Auckland,” he said.

“It’s a new challenge after being at the Broncos for so long but I’m looking forward to working with the coaching staff and the players. I like the direction the club is heading in and it will also be good to be around a lot of familiar faces, both the coaches and team-mates.

“I also want to thank the Broncos for the opportunity they gave me to develop as a player. The club has been a huge part of my life and I’m grateful for the way so many people supported me there.”

Throughout his NRL career, Nikorima has demonstrated his utility value. Used off the bench in his first two seasons, he provided options in the halves as well as at hooker and fullback. Since then he has been used mainly at halfback but has also started at fullback.



Warriors Orange Peeler
Solomone Kata - RELEASED


Kata granted release from contract
Richard Becht &
Mon 24 Jun 2019, 02:19 PM

The Vodafone Warriors have today confirmed centre Solomone Kata has been granted an early release to continue his NRL career in Australia.

The 24-year-old double international was off contract at the end of next season but sought an immediate release to join the Melbourne Storm.

“Sol has played a lot of football in all grades since joining the club but after being an NRL regular over the last few seasons he has been in reserve grade (Canterbury Cup NSW) recently,” said Vodafone Warriors general manager football Brian Smith.

“With limited NRL opportunities he was keen to look at other avenues and asked for a release after Melbourne showed interest in him.

“He goes with our best wishes and we thank him for his contribution to the Vodafone Warriors.”

Born in Neiafu in Tonga, Kata joined the Vodafone Warriors in 2013 after playing rugby union for the Sacred Heart College First XV.

He made 26 NYC (under-20) appearances for the Vodafone Junior Warriors in 2013 and 2014 while also appearing for the club’s reserve grade side in 2014.

Making his NRL debut in 2015, he finishes his Vodafone Warriors career with 93 games in five seasons including 46 tries. His last appearance was the sixth-round loss to North Queensland.

He has represented Mate Ma’a Tonga since 2014 and also played five Tests for the Kiwis in their end-of-season campaign in 2016.



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Josh Curran - SIGNED


Vodafone Warriors sign Roosters back rower
Richard Becht
Tue 25 Jun 2019, 01:07 PM

Promising Sydney Roosters back rower Josh Curran has today been signed by the Vodafone Warriors until the end of the 2021 season.

The Sydney-born and raised Curran, who turned 20 just two weeks ago, made his NRL debut off the bench in the Roosters’ sixth-round 21-20 win over Melbourne at AAMI Park on April 19.

Vodafone Warriors general manager football Brian Smith said the former Parramatta junior comes into the NRL squad replacing centre Solomone Kata, who was granted an early release from his contract yesterday.

“We’ve been watching Josh closely and he’ll give us more depth among our back row options,” he said.

“He’s an accomplished player who has excelled in every age group representing New South Wales at under-16, under-18 and under-20 level as well as playing for the New South Wales Residents against Queensland this year.”

A 185cm, 99kg second rower or loose forward, Curran was with Parramatta as an under-16 and under-18 player in 2015 and 2016 before joining the Roosters in 2017.
He made 28 under-20 appearances for the Roosters in 2017 and 2018 and also turned out nine times for feeder club Wyong in the former Intrust Super Premiership last year.

He has played 11 times for the North Sydney Bears – the Roosters’ new feeder club – in the Canterbury Cup this season.

Date of Birth: June 10, 1999
Birthplace: Sydney, NSW
Junior Clubs: Merrylands Rams, Hills District Bulls (NSW)
Position: Second row/loose forward
Height: 185cm
Weight: 99kg
Previous NRL Clubs: Sydney Roosters (2019)
Rep Honours: NSW Residents (2019), NSW Under-20 (2018), NSW Under-18 (2017), NSW Under-16 (2015)
NRL Debut: Sydney Roosters v Melbourne, AAMI Park, Melbourne, April 19, 2019, 2019 (Round 6)
NRL Career: 1 appearance, 2019
NRL Points: 0


Warriors Orange Peeler
Karl Lawton - RE-SIGNED

Lawton extends stay until 2021
Richard Becht &
Wed 26 Jun 2019, 08:49 AM

Hooker Karl Lawton has committed himself to the Vodafone Warriors until the end of the 2021 NRL season after signing a two-year contract extension.

The new deal was confirmed today a day after the 23-year-old was named to start in the No 9 jersey in this Sunday’s NRL Heritage Round clash against Penrith at Mount Smart Stadium.

It will be Lawton’s 13th appearance for the Vodafone Warriors after joining the club from the Gold Coast Titans in March last year.

“We’re delighted to secure Karl for another two years,” said Vodafone Warriors general manager football Brian Smith.

“The coaching staff are really impressed with him on all levels on and off the field with the energy he brings to all he does.

“Karl had a delayed start to the season but he is certainly making up for it.”

Lawton was used only once in the first eight rounds of the NRL season when he started against his old club Gold Coast in round four.

After spending time with the Canterbury Cup NSW side, he returned for the Magic Round encounter with St George Illawarra, making an explosive 20-minute contribution to help the Vodafone Warriors to a 26-18 comeback win.

He has been ever-present since appearing in each of the last five matches, initially off the bench but as the starting hooker in the 24-20 win over the Titans on June 14.

His signing comes a day after the Vodafone Warriors announced young Sydney Roosters middle forward Josh Curran had been signed to the end of the 2021 season.

Date of Birth: November 29, 1995
Birthplace: Murwillumbah, NSW
Junior Club: Burleigh Bears (Qld)
Position: Hooker
Height: 185cm
Weight: 93kg
Previous Clubs: Gold Coast Titans (2016-2017)
Rep Honours: Queensland under-20s (2015)
NRL Debut: Gold Coast v Vodafone Warriors, Mount Smart Stadium, July 2, 2016 (Round
Vodafone Warriors No: 229
NRL Career: 24 appearances, 2016-2019
NRL Points: 24 (6 tries)

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