Vatuvei’s move confirmed

first_imgLong-serving Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei has been released from his contract and will link up with Salford in the English Super League.The iconic try-scorer was originally contracted until the end of the 2018 NRL season but asked the Warriors for an early release in order to join Salford.British media reported last week that a deal had been done between Vatuvei and Salford, who are owned by businessman and racehorse owner Marwan Koukash, are second on the Super League table.A fan favourite at Mt Smart Stadium for well over a decade, 31-year-old Vatuvei has been restricted to just one NRL appearance this year due to injury.”Manu is a club legend,” Warriors managing director Jim Doyle said.”We didn’t make this decision lightly, but after years of fantastic service to the Warriors, he’s decided the time is right to head overseas and we didn’t want to stand in his way.”We wish him all the best for his future and while he will soon be lining up for Salford, he’ll always be a Warrior in our eyes.”After making his first-grade debut in 2004, Vatuvei, Warrior No 115, made 226 appearances for the club.Known as The Beast, Vatuvei quickly became a potent attacking threat on the Warriors’ left wing and in 2015 became the first player in NRL history to complete the feat of scoring 10 tries or more in 10 consecutive seasons.That same year, he became just the third player to appear in 200 games for the Warriors.Vatuvei also leaves New Zealand’s shores as the Warriors’ all-time leading try-scorer with 152 tries. Stacey Jones is second on the list with 77.”This wasn’t an easy decision to make,” Vatuvei said.”I’ve absolutely loved my time here at the Warriors playing alongside my brothers.”I will never forget this club and just want to say a massive thank you to the club and the fans for their support over the years.”Vatuvei will be honoured before he leaves for England at Friday’s game against the Penrith Panthers in Auckland.”While Manu won’t play against the Panthers, our fans will understandably want a chance to give him a fitting send off,” Doyle said.”They’ll get that opportunity this week and we are encouraging as many as possible to come on Friday to show Manu just how much he means to them.”Vatuvei played the last of his 28 tests for the Kiwis in 2015 and made his international debut for Tonga last May Photo by: Anthony Au-Yeung (Warriors wing Manu Vatuvei has confirmed his move to the English Super League)last_img

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