1st Grade Fringe
- Apr 12, 2012
Warriors re-sign Bill Tupou through to 2014
He's flown under the radar for most of his career out on the right wing for the Warriors, but the underrated Bill Tupou's recent form doesn't appear to have gone unnoticed by the club's powerbrokers.
Tupou was off contract at the end of this season with an option in favour of the Warriors, but his manager Stan Martin has moved quickly to negotiate a new and upgraded deal for his client.
He wouldn't reveal specifics yesterday but confirmed that on Friday, Tupou put pen to paper on a new contract that will see him call Mt Smart Stadium home until at least the end of 2014.
It's also understood the deal includes an option in the club's favour for the 2015 season.
Martin said the terms of the new contract were confidential but admitted Tupou, who scored two tries during Wednesday's loss to the S torm, had been rewarded with a significant pay increase.
"Bill's been offered a new extension for two years and he signed the contract this week," Martin said.
"He'll be staying with the Warriors until 2014 at least.
"I spoke to the Warriors at the end of last year and at the beginning of this year after Billy's top performances during the playoffs. He also made the Kiwis squad for the Four Nations, let's not forget.
"He's improved quite a lot and I think the Warriors see him as a long-term winger and wanted to keep him at the club. He's received some good rewards on the back of some impressive performances."
Tupou, 21, joined the Warriors under-20s in 2008 – their inaugural season – before making his first-grade debut in round four of the 2010 season.
Last year, he was used just three times by former coach Ivan Cleary before getting a recall to the side in round 16. He quickly cemented his position and went on to make 17 appearances, including the NRL grand final.
Under new coach Brian McClennan, Tupou has been a regular sight on the right wing for the Warriors and has turned in some impressive performances, most notably against the Storm last week.
"Until Brian McClennan came along, the Warriors weren't entirely sure about Billy," Martin added
"I had three clubs interested in him. But because he's always been under contract with the Warriors, I never proceeded with anything."
Warriors CEO Wayne Scurrah yesterday refused to comment on whether Tupou had been offered an upgraded contract but conceded "some discussions" had recently taken place.
"He's come through our junior system, which is great, and he's consistently making progress," Scurrah said. "He's becoming a regular first-grader now.
He has been linked with the Newcastle Knights but, according to Brown, if an offer from the Warriors is "right", he'll stay in New Zealand.
"At the moment, we've received a couple of offers for the NRL and Super League and now I'll be talking to the Warriors in the next fortnight," he said.
"We'll revisit things in two weeks and from there, Ukuma will be making a decision.
"It's like anything, if the deal is right then he'll have no issue staying here.
"He's happy here and it will probably come down to the deal."
Scurrah refused to comment on Ta'ai's contract situation.
It's also understood that star under-20s fullback Omar Slaimankhel is being courted by another NRL club and could ask the Warriors for a release in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, rampaging back-rower Ukuma Ta'ai is expected to make a decision on his future within a fortnight. The Tongan international is off-contract with the Warriors this year and his agent Peter Brown said he had two deals from rival clubs on the table.