Recruitment Warriors Player Roster and Contracts - 2017

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  1. NZWarriors.com
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    NZWarriors.com

    Warriors Player Roster and Contracts - 2017

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

    2017 Vodafone Warriors NRL squad

    Backs:
    Ata Hingano, Blake Ayshford, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, David Fusitua, Ken Maumalo, Kieran Foran, Manu Vatuvei, Mason Lino, Matt Allwood, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Shaun Johnson, Solomone Kata, Tuimoala Lolohea

    Forwards: Albert Vete, Nathaniel Roache, Ben Matulino, Bodene Thompson, Bunty Afoa, Charlie Gubb, Erin Clark, Issac Luke, Jacob Lillyman, James Gavet, Jazz Tevaga, Jordan Pinnock, Junior Paunga, Isaiah Papalii, Ligi Sao, Nathaniel Roache, Ofahiki Ogden, Patrick Sipley, Paul Tuli, Ryan Hoffman, Sam Lisone, Simon Mannering, Toafofoa Sipley

    Players and Contract Length in Alphabetical Order

    Albert Vete 2017 - Link
    Ata Hingano 2017 - Link
    Ben Matulino 2017 - Link
    Blake Ayshford 2017 - Link
    Bodene Thompson 2017 - Link
    Bunty Afoa 2019 - Link
    Charlie Gubb 2017 - Link
    Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2017 - Link
    David Fusitua 2019 - Link
    Erin Clark 2017 - Link
    Issac Luke 2018 - Link
    Jacob Lillyman 2017 - Link
    James Gavet 2017 - Link
    Jazz Tevaga 2018 - Link
    Jordan Pinnock 2017 - Link
    Junior Paunga 2018 - Link
    Ken Maumalo 2018 - Link
    Kieran Foran 2017 - Link
    Isaiah Papalii 2019 - Link
    Ligi Sao 2017 - Link
    Manu Vatuvei 2018 - Link
    Mason Lino 2017 - Link
    Matt Allwood 2017 - Link
    Nathaniel Roache 2017 - Link
    Ofahiki Ogden 2017 - Link
    Patrick Sipley 2017 - Link
    Paul Tuli 2015 - Link???
    Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2018 - Link
    Ryan Hoffman 2017 - Link
    Sam Lisone 2018 - Link
    Shaun Johnson 2017 - Link
    Simon Mannering 2018 - Link
    Solomone Kata 2019 - Link
    Toafofoa Sipley 2017 - Link
    Tomasi Aoake 2015 - Link???
    Tuimoala Lolohea 2018 - Link
    Year to Year Summary
    Off Contract 2017

    Albert Vete
    Nathaniel Roache
    Ben Matulino
    Blake Ayshford
    Bodene Thompson
    Charlie Gubb
    Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
    Erin Clark
    Jacob Lillyman
    James Gavet
    Jordan Pinnock
    Kieran Foran
    Ligi Sao
    Mason Lino
    Matt Allwood
    Nathaniel Roache
    Ofahiki Ogden
    Patrick Sipley
    Ryan Hoffman
    Shaun Johnson
    Toafofoa Sipley

    Off Contract 2018

    Issac Luke
    Jazz Tevaga
    Junior Paunga
    Ken Maumalo
    Manu Vatuvei
    Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
    Sam Lisone
    Simon Mannering
    Tuimoala Lolohea

    Off Contract 2019


    Bunty Afoa
    David Fusitua
    Isaiah Papalii
    Solomone Kata

    Losses and Releases
    2017

    No releases to date

    2016 Losses


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

    2015 Losses

    Brad Abbey - Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
    Chad Townsend - Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
    David Bhana - Newcastle Knights
    Dominique Peyroux - Catalans Dragons
    Glen Fisiiahi - Counties Manukau Rugby Union
    Nathan Friend - Gold Coast Titans
    Nathaniel Peteru - Gold Coast Titans
    Ngani Laumape - Wellington Hurricanes Rugby Union
    Sam Cook - Newcastle Knights
    Sam Tomkins - Wigan Warriors
    Sebastine Ikahihifo - St George-Illawarra Dragons
    Siliva Havili - St George-Illawarra Dragons
    Suaia Matagi - Sydney Roosters
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2017

  2. mt.wellington
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    Albert Vete
    Nathaniel Roache

    NRL squad realigned for 2016
    Tue 7th July 2015, 09:33AM
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    Contract extensions have been confirmed for NRL rookie Albert Vete, Jonathan Wright and promising NYC players Nathaniel Roache and Marata Niukore as the Vodafone Warriors continue to shape and realign their squad for the 2016 season and beyond.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  3. mt.wellington
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    Ata Hingano

    David Fusitua has had an upgraded contract since this contract was announced...

    New contracts for Fusitu'a and Hingano
    Fri 12th December 2014, 01:51PM
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    Two of the Vodafone Warriors’ most promising players have had their contracts extended by two years.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    David Fusitua

    Born: October 16, 1994

    Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

    Position: Wing/Fullback/Centre

    Height: 189cm

    Weight: 98kg

    Junior Club: Marist Saints

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

    Club Number: 189

    NRL Career: Vodafone Warriors | 12 appearances (2014)

    NRL Points: 28 (7 tries)

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

    NSW Cup Points: 12 (3 tries)

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

    NYC Points: 84 (21 tries)

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

    Educated: Kelston Boys’ High School, Auckland



    Ata Hingano

    Born: March 11, 1997

    Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

    Position: Halfback/Standoff

    Height: 182cm

    Weight: 84kg

    Junior Club: Pakuranga Jaguars

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

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

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

    Educated: Pakuranga College

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  4. mt.wellington
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    Ben Matulino

    ANNOUNCEMENT | Matulino's new contract
    Thu 5th February, 09:34PM
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    Front rower Ben Matulino has given the Vodafone Warriors’ 2015 NRL campaign a huge boost today by re-committing to the club on a new two-year contract which will keep him at Mount Smart Stadium until the end of the 2017 season.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Ben Matulino

    Date of Birth | January 03, 1989

    Birthplace | Lower Hutt, New Zealand

    Junior Club | Te Aroha Eels (Wellington)

    Position | Prop/Second Row

    Height | 193cm

    Weight | 107kg

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

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

    Club Number | 142

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

    NRL Career | 152 appearances, 2008-2014

    NRL Points | 52 (13 tries)

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

    NYC Career | 13 appearances, 2008-2009

    NYC Points | 8 (2 tries)

    Secondary School | St Bernard’s College (Wellington)

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    Blake Ayshford

    New Zealand Warriors sign Blake Ayshford from Cronulla Sharks on two-year deal
    Last updated 18:54, September 14 2015
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    Blake Ayshford will leave the Cronulla Sharks to play for the New Zealand Warriors next season.

    The New Zealand Warriors have signed Cronulla Sharks centre Blake Ayshford on a two-year deal.

    The 27-year-old has been on the outer at the Sharks this season, playing just four games after featuring in 16 during the 2014 season.

    He joined Cronulla following five years with the Wests Tigers, where he made 104 appearances and scored 33 tries.

    Warriors coach Andrew McFadden said Ayshford had all the qualities the club was after as it continues to realign its NRL squad.

    "We're undergoing a thorough process of reshaping our NRL squad for next year and beyond," he said.

    "While we're always seeking to create depth and competition, we have also identified the need for more experienced and durable players with the level of professionalism we're after.

    "Blake will bring those qualities to the club. He has been on the NRL scene for several seasons now and has demonstrated just what we need from our signings."

    A product of the National Youth Competition's foundation season in 2008, Ayshford has generally been used in the centres during his career but also has some NRL experience on the wing, at standoff and loose forward.

    He played in two finals campaigns with the Tigers in 2010 and 2011, including a loss to the Warriors as his new side went on to make the 2011 grand final.

    Blake Ayshford

    Age: 27
    Birthplace: Sydney, Australia
    Position: Centre
    Height: 190cm
    Weight: 100kg
    NRL Debut: Wests Tigers v Brisbane, Campbelltown Stadium, May 22, 2009 (Round 1)
    NRL Career: 124 appearances, 136 points (34 tries)

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  6. mt.wellington
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    Bodene Thompson

    Vodafone Warriors sign Thompson
    Richard Becht
    Sat 1st November, 11:52PM
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    Kiwi back rower Bodene Thompson is joining the Vodafone Warriors on a three-year contract for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 NRL seasons.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Bodene Thompson

    Born: August 1, 1988

    Birthplace: Tauranga, NZ

    Position: Second Row

    Height: 185cm

    Weight: 107kg

    Junior Club: Tauranga City Sharks

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

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

    NRL Career: 85 appearances 2009-2014

    NRL Points: 64 points (16 tries)

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

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  7. mt.wellington
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    Bunty Afoa
    Erin Clark
    Jazz Tevaga
    Ken Maumalo
    Ofahiki Ogden
    Patrick Sipley
    Solomone Kata

    Vodafone Warriors secure Kata until 2019
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    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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    Jazz Tevaga

    NEW DEAL FOR WARRIOR

    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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  8. mt.wellington
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    Charlie Gubb
    Simon Mannering
    Jacob Lillyman

    ANNOUNCEMENT | Mannering re-signed
    Richard Becht
    Sat 12th April 2014, 03:59PM Media has been hidden. Please Register to view.

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

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

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

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

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

    He hailed Mannering’s contract extension as critical.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Charlie Gubb

    Warriors refuse to let Charlie Gubb leave for better offer
    DAVID LONG
    Last updated 05:00, December 11 2016
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    The Warriors are playing hard ball with Charlie Gubb in refusing to releasing from the option they hold on him for 2017.

    Three other NRL clubs, including the reigning premiers, Cronulla Sharks want to sign him for next season, for significantly more money than he's on now, but the Warriors insist on keeping hold of him.

    The 26-year-old prop has worked his way up from being a non-contracted player, through the reserve grade team, to be one of the regular faces in the 17 each week for the Auckland club.

    He signed a contract in early 2014 with the Warriors, which ran until the end of the 2016 season, although club would also hold an option for 2017 as part of that deal.

    At the time that contract was signed, Gubb was unproven at NRL level and his contract was one of the smallest at the club. But he has gone on to be a cult favourite at Mt Smart Stadium and one of the hardest working front rowers in the game.

    This has been noticed by other clubs who want him for next year, but in order to get him, they need the Warriors to let him go. The club won't do that, nor will they offer him a contract extension for beyond next year where he'd be paid as much as other clubs are prepared to offer.

    The Warriors may feel they want to keep Gubb to make sure they have plenty of prop cover for the 2017 season, But with Ben Matulino, Jacob Lillyman, Sam Lisone, Albert Vete, Bunty Afoa and Toafofoa Sipley on the books that shouldn't be an issue.

    It could be that the Warriors have an unhappy Gubb in their club all season, although Gubb isn't the type of person who could be a disruptive and negative influence on his team-mates.

    New coach Warriors Stephen Kearney has been impressed with Gubb's attitude in training and wants to keep him, but Gubb's manager Frank Endacott is still trying to persuade the Warriors to not pick up the option on him.

    "It's not satisfactory for Charlie, but it's something we've got to work though and I'm not confident we can resolve it," Endacott said.

    "He's on that option year and I'm trying to sort things out, but it's not happening quickly.

    "Normally, if players want to leave a club they let them go.

    "Charlie was on a low contract because he had to prove himself. Well he's more than proved himself, but he's not getting the salary to match his ability and what he's worth in the team."

    Endacott says Gubb won't kick up a fuss and he remains passionate about the Warriors, but as his representative, Endacott says he's driven by getting the best deal possible for the player.

    "Charlie wants to stay at the Warriors, but with what he's on, it's a joke to be fair," he said.

    "People talk about how much players get, but Charlie's on the other side of that.

    "When we signed that contract it was OK, because it was all about opportunities, but the thing is he's played his part but nothing is happen."

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  9. mt.wellington
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    Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad

    Young Melbourne utility signed
    Fri 23rd October, 01:21PM
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    Young Melbourne Storm utility Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad has filled another place in the Vodafone Warriors’ 2016 NRL squad after being signed on a two-year contract.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  10. mt.wellington
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    David Fusitua
    Isaiah Papalii
    Junior Paunga

    New deals for Vodafone Warriors trio
    Richard Becht | Images: Link has been hidden. Please Register to view.
    Fri 7th October, 02:21PM
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    The Vodafone Warriors have secured utility David Fusitua on a three-year contract extension as well as signing promising young players Isaiah Papalii and Junior Paugaon new deals.

    Selected in the Kiwis this week, Fusitua – 22 on October 16 – has just completed the most intensive season of his career, appearing in each one of the Vodafone Warriors’ last 18 matches after starting the campaign with five games for the club’s Intrust Super Premiership side.

    The Marist Saints junior finished the year with 11 tries – including four against Newcastle at Hunter Stadium in June – to lift his career tally to 20 tries in 33 first-grade matches.

    His outstanding form – averaging 136 metres with 14 line breaks – culminated in him being included as one of five newcomers in the Kiwi squad for the October 15 Test against the Kangaroos in Perth and the following Four Nations competition in England.

    Another Kelston Boys’ High School product, Fusitua has been in the Vodafone Warriors’ system for several years, coming into the club’s NYC side as a 17-year-old in 2012 and going on to score 21 tries in 37 under-20 appearances across three seasons. During this time, he made his NRL debut in 2014 and was also used in the New South Wales Cup side.

    “David’s a special talent and he showed that consistently throughout the 2016 season,” said new Vodafone Warriors recruitment and development manager Tony Iro.

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

    “He richly deserved his selection in the Kiwis the way he played this year and he’s going to be an integral player in our group in the coming years.”

    After being affected by a range of injuries in previous seasons, Fusitua said he was thrilled he was able string together a run of games.

    “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.”

    While Fusitua has been signed to the end of the 2019 NRL season, the Vodafone Warriors have also secured Vodafone Junior Warriors Papalii for three years and Paugafor two years.

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

    He was one of a host of 17-year-olds who made their NYC debuts for the Vodafone Junior Warriors this year. Selected for the Junior Kiwis in May, he played 11 NYC matches in a year when he was unavailable for much of the season due to First XV rugby union commitments with the champion Mount Albert Grammar side. MAGS won the Auckland championship and then took out the New Zealand Secondary Schools title being Hastings Boys’ High School 14-13 in the final. Used at prop by the Vodafone Junior Warriors, flanker Papalii scored Mount Albert Grammar’s only try of the final and was named the New Zealand First XV Player of the Year.

    In his 11 NYC games he scored six tries while averaging 13.27 runs, 134 metres and 30.54 tackles.

    Pauga (20) scored eight tries in 23 appearances in his second and last NYC season. A standout with the ball, he topped 3300 metres – an average of 146 metres a game – including 11 line breaks and an exceptional 128 tackle breaks, by far the most of any player in the side. He also debuted for club’s Intrust Super Premiership side this year.

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    David Fusitua

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  11. mt.wellington
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    Issac Luke

    BREAKING NEWS | Issac Luke signed
    Richard Becht
    Fri 8th May, 10:04AM
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    Vodafone Warriors managing director Jim Doyle has announced the club’s second major signing coup in a month confirming outstanding Kiwi hooker Issac Luke will join the club on a three-year contract at the end of the 2015 NRL season.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Vodafone Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden was elated.

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

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

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

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

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

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  12. mt.wellington
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    James Gavet.

    Article abridged...

    James Gavet one bright light for woeful Warriors
    Date March 10, 2016
    David Long
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    James Gavet is hopeful he'll be able to get regular football with the Warriors. Photo: Jonathan Ng

    One of the positives from last weekend's defeat in Sydney was James Gavet, who was making his debut for the club.

    The 26-year-old played just 14 games over four seasons for the Bulldogs, Tigers and Broncos before coming to the Warriors this year.

    He initially joined the club on a trial, but was given a full-time contract last month, the fact that he started at prop last weekend ahead of Ben Matulino was an indication of how impressed McFadden has been with him.

    After a number of false starts with his NRL career, Gavet is hopeful that this time he'll finally be able to get regular footy, but given the loss to the Tigers, had mixed feelings about his first NRL game in a Warriors jersey.

    "There was, especially against my old team," Gavet said.

    "This week I'm up against another of my old teams. It was good to get out there though and have a fresh blow out.

    "But it was a tough pill to swallow," he added.

    "Especially after letting ourselves down in the first half, but then showing everyone what we were capable of in the second half.

    "We knew what we were capable of, but weren't able to deliver. We've done it at training, but we have to put it into 80 minutes."

    While it's been all doom and gloom about the Warriors since their Tigers loss, it's worth remembering that the Cowboys lost their first three games last season and went on to win the Premiership.

    "There is a bad omen about what happens in the first few games with the Warriors and I think we've got the team to break that mindset," Gavet said.

    "It's a testament to what we've gone through in the preseason and there are no excuses at the end of the day with what happened, but hopefully we can right those wrongs this week."

    Gavet only played one game while with the Broncos, he ruptured his ACL before the club's round three game, which ruled him out for the rest of the season and the club decided to release him from the last year of his contract.

    "It will be good to play against those boys and also good for our team to showcase what we're really about," he said.

    "I'm really hopeful about this week and I don't think we've justified how we play just yet.

    "We've shown glimpses, but this week is a perfect opportunity to show everyone we're a force to be reckoned with this season, especially as a grand finalist team."

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    NRL: Warriors prop gets contract extension
    2:45 PM Saturday Jul 23, 2016
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    James Gavet. Photo / Michael Craig

    James Gavet's NRL renaissance will continue, after earning a contract extension at the Warriors until the end of the 2017 season.

    The prop had been contemplating a return to rugby if he couldn't secure his future at Mt Smart, but that difficult decision has been taken out of his hands.

    Today the Warriors activated a one-year option on his contract, meaning Gavet will have a second season at one club for the first time since 2013.

    It's been an unlikely, but heart warming progression. Gavet has been dogged by misfortune, with three season-ending injuries in the last four years. He's also had personal struggles, with his well documented battles with alcohol and depression.

    Gavet returned home late last year to get his life back on track, and stayed fit by training with Richmond Rovers. The 26-year-old was taken on as a triallist midway through pre-season training, with Warriors coach Andrew McFadden then deciding he was worth a punt.

    Gavet has been a solid performer, and plays his eighth first grade game tonight in Canberra, after managing only 14 NRL matches between 2012 and 2015. He's averaging career-best minutes (32) and yardage (73m per game) and offers a point of difference with his aggression and mobility.

    He's also impressed the club hierarchy with his application, despite long spells on the fringes. He was absent from first grade for the entire month of April, and then for a six-week spell from the beginning of June to mid-July.

    "We've always had pretty healthy competition, especially with the front rowers," said Gavet. "It's always an adjustment when you go between teams but it doesn't matter to me. I've always just taken the field and given my all, whether it be State Cup or first grade. It doesn't matter if you are playing in front of thousands, or just a few hundred and not even on TV. That's how we get here in the first place and you have to earn your stripes."

    Up until last week, Gavet was unsure if he had done enough, admitting he was considering a switch to the 15-man code if unwanted at the Warriors. He had his eyes on playing Mitre 10 Cup with Auckland and then Super Rugby.

    "I still want to play sport but since there is only one league team in New Zealand I'd probably give union a crack ," said Gavet. "Last time I played I was 18 but I've got the foundations there [although] I'd need to brush up on it a bit. But [former All Black] Michael Jones is a family friend and he always encourages me to have another go."

    Such ideas are on the backburner now, as Gavet contemplates some stability - on and off the field - after the turmoil of the last few seasons.

    "It's a good opportunity," said Gavet. "I've been given a new role, more about laying the platform than just impact. I'd like to stamp my mark while the other boys are out."

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  13. mt.wellington
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    Kieran Foran

    Foran SIGNS
    Richard Becht
    Thu 22nd September, 05:00PM
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    Vodafone Warriors managing director Jim Doyle tonight confirmed Kiwi standoff Kieran Foran has signed a one-year deal with the club for the 2017 NRL season.

    Doyle made the announcement to Vodafone Warriors members attending the club’s annual members’ forum at Mount Smart Stadium.

    He said the 26-year-old Foran had told him at the weekend that a move to Auckland was his preference as he continues to rebuild his life and resume his playing career.

    “I’ve been in touch with Kieran regularly this year to offer support as he has dealt with the well-documented challenges he has been facing,” said Doyle.

    “We have worked through the option of coming to Auckland carefully with him. There has been much to consider in creating an environment for Kieran to not only return to football but also to put all the support around him that he needs.

    “I’m delighted that following those discussions, Kieran has now decided to join the Vodafone Warriors. The next step is to work alongside the NRL to cover off all requirements to have the contract registered.”

    Auckland-born Foran moved to Australia with his family as a youngster and is now in line to live in the city for the first time since he was 10 when he joins the Vodafone Warriors for their first offseason training programme under just-appointed new head coach Stephen Kearney.

    “I’ve had a lot of time to think about my future over the last few months,” said Foran from Sydney.

    “Initially footy was the furthest thing from my mind and I needed time away from the game. More recently the desire to play again has completely returned and I’m very keen to make a big contribution next year.

    “While I had other options, coming to Auckland emerged as the best decision for me. Being in a new environment was important but I’m also incredibly excited by the potential of the club and the quality roster it has. I can’t wait to be part of the team and I want to play a major role in 2017 in taking the club to the next level.

    “I have so many people to thank for making this happen and for supporting me through what’s been a tough period.

    “Now I want to repay them. The Vodafone Warriors have so much to offer and I’m looking forward to working with so many players I know from the Kiwis as well as Mooks (Stephen Kearney).”

    Kearney said Foran would be a welcome arrival at the club.

    “He’s such a high-quality footballer and competitor who will add a lot to our squad,” he said.

    Kieran and I have been in contact throughout the year and I know he has made a lot of progress with the challenges he has had. I’m extremely pleased to have him on board.”

    Foran joined Parramatta this year after 147 appearances for Manly from 2009-2015. He had nine games for the Eels, the last of them against Newcastle on May 30.

    In 156 games he has been on winning sides 97 times while he has been involved in one draw and 58 losses.

    Foran was in Manly’s premiership-winning side against the Vodafone Warriors in 2011 and again in the 2013 grand final when the Sea Eagles lost to the Sydney Roosters. He was also a vital figure in the Kiwis’ successful Four Nations campaign in 2014.

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  14. mt.wellington
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    Ligi Sao

    PLAYER SIGNING | Sao coming home
    Richard Becht
    Wed 22nd July, 04:07PM
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    Manly forward Ligi Sao is coming home to rejoin the Vodafone Warriors on a two-year contract for the 2016 and 2017 NRL seasons.

    The Manurewa Marlins junior joined the Sea Eagles in 2013 after 36 NYC appearances for the Vodafone Junior Warriors including their 2011 grand final win.

    Since his NRL debut in 2013 he has made 16 NRL appearances, 15 of them this season. While used mainly off the bench he has started at loose forward in Manly’s last two games.

    “We’ve been watching Ligi and he has developed well at Manly, especially this year with a lot more exposure at NRL level,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden.

    “He helps our depth with our middle players and increases competition for spots. It’s also great to be able to bring Ligi back home.”

    The Stan Martin-managed Sao said returning home was a key factor in his decision.

    “I’ve got the rest of this season ahead of me here at Manly but I’m excited the Warriors have given me the chance to come home,” he said.

    “It’s a new challenge for me and one I’m looking forward to. I’ve really enjoyed my time with Manly and have been lucky to be around some great players but it’s going to good being back in Auckland for next season.”

    Sao will find plenty of familiar faces from his NYC days at the club with former team-mates Konrad Hurrell, Raymond Faitala-Mariner, David Fusitua, Ngani Laumape, Albert Vete and Ben Henry among those if the NRL squad.

    Ligi Sao
    Date of Birth: October 11, 1992

    Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

    Junior Club: Manurewa Marlins

    Position: Prop

    Height: 187cm

    Weight: 109kg

    Rep Honours: Nil

    NRL Debut: Manly v North Queensland, 1300SMILES Stadium, July 15, 2013 (Round 18)

    NRL Career: 16 appearances for Manly, 2013-2015

    NRL Points: 8 (2 tries)

    NYC Games: 36 (2011-2013), 16 points (4 tries)

    Secondary School: Manurewa High School

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    Jordan Pinnock

    Nothing official on Jordan as yet. Length of contract unknown at this stage...

     
  16. mt.wellington
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    Manu Vatuvei

    The Beast signed until 2018
    Wed 22nd April 2015, 10:57AM
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    Just days after joining the 200-game club and setting an all-time try-scoring record, Manu Vatuvei has extended his Vodafone Warriors career to a record 15 seasons with a new three-year contract to the end of the 2018 NRL campaign.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    SEASON-BY-SEASON BREAKDOWN

    2004 5 games 0 tries

    2005 12 games 9 tries

    2006 18 games 10 tries

    2007 23 games 10 tries

    2008 17 games 16 tries

    2009 19 games 13 tries

    2010 19 games 20 tries

    2011 19 games 12 tries

    2012 20 games 12 tries

    2013 19 games 16 tries

    2014 23 games 17 tries

    2015 7 games 6 tries

    Manu Vatuvei

    Born: March 4, 1986

    Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

    Position: Wing

    Height: 189cm

    Weight: 108kg

    Junior Club: Otara Scorpions (Auckland)

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

    Vodafone Warriors No: 115

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

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

    NRL Points: 564 (141 tries)

    Kiwi No: 720

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

    Test Career: 27 Tests for Kiwis 2005-2014

    Test Points: 80 points (20 tries)

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

    Educated: Sir Edmund Hillary College (Auckland)

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  17. mt.wellington
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    Mason Lino

    WARRIORS HALF RE-SIGNS

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

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

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

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

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

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  18. mt.wellington
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    Matt Allwood

    ANNOUNCEMENT | Allwood signed
    Tue 20th May, 01:47PM
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    Canberra’s rookie NRL centre Matt Allwood will join the Vodafone Warriors on a three-year contract at the end of the 2014 season.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Matt Allwood

    Born: November 16, 1992

    Birthplace: Scone, New South Wales

    Position: Centre

    Height: 185cm

    Weight: 93kg

    Junior Club: Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School

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

    NRL Career: 9 appearances 2014

    NRL Points: 4 points (1 try)

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

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  19. mt.wellington
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    Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

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

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  20. mt.wellington
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    Ryan Hoffman

    NRL: Warriors sign Hoffman to three-year deal
    By Michael Brown
    11:32 AM Thursday May 8, 2014
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    Ryan Hoffman. Photo / Getty Images

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

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

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

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

    Hoffman found the Warriors' offer too good to refuse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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