Warriors officially sign Kodi Nikorima

Headlines 03/05/2019

Kodi Nikorima is officially an NZ Warrior, after the Auckland NRL club confirmed his signing with immediate effect.

Nikorima will depart the Brisbane Broncos, after being released early from his contract, and join the Warriors on a two-and-a-half-year deal that will keep him at the club until 2021.

The Warriors will reportedly pay Nikorima about $500,000 a season, double what he was on at the Broncos.

His signing will mean the Warrior have their 30 roster spots filled for the rest of the season.

Warriors chief executive Cameron George was pleased to bring Nikorima to the club. 

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

"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."

The 25-year-old won't be available for Sunday's match against the Newcastle Knights and will likely make his debut against the St George Dragons - ironically, at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium - as part of the NRL's 'Magic Round'.

His arrival will provide much-needed experience in the halves, and he can also cover hooker and fullback, if needed.

"I'm really excited about coming to the Warriors and moving to Auckland," Nikorima 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."

Nikorima's arrival will likely see rookie halfback Chanel Harris-Tavita drop back to reserve grade, although he could still feature on the bench, while Nikorima plays a utility role.

The Palmerston North-born prospect has played 86 NRL games, since his 2015 debut. He has also played 13 tests for the Kiwis and starred on last year's tour of England, where he played alongside Warriors Adam Blair, Isaiah Papali'i and Leeson Ah Mau.

Nikorima also has a strong relationship with Warriors coach Stephen Kearney, after they worked together at the Broncos and with the NZ national team.

The signing will signal a new beginning for Nikorima, after his rocky relationship with new Broncos coach Anthony Seibold.

Nikorima copped plenty of blame for the Broncos' horror start to the season and then sat out Brisbane's 38-6 thrashing against South Sydney on Thursday to 'ponder his future' with the club.

Nikorima was first linked to the Warriors during the offseason, after they released Shaun Johnson from the final year of his contract in November.

But after the Warriors lost their only experienced playmaker - Blake Green - to injury, they were forced to rely on rookie Harris-Tavita, alongside makeshift halves Peta Hiku and Tohu Harris.

Green is back fit and will likely suit up against the Knights.

Should Green and Nikorima pair up in the halves against the Dragons, they will be the Warriors' sixth different halves combination this season.

Credit to Newshub.