May 19, 2024

The New Zealand Warriors have confirmed that Addin Fonua-Blake will stay with the club until 2024, but there is no certainty that he will stay beyond 2025.

The talented prop, who was selected to the 2023 Dally M team of the year for his performances during a fantastic season, stunned the Warriors and the NRL yesterday by asking a release from the remainder of his contract, which is set to expire at the end of 2026.

It was quickly disclosed that the parole request was made on compassionate grounds – Fonua-Blake wants to return to Sydney, according to sources, to be closer to his parents, who are suffering health issues.

The St George Illawarra Dragons were thought to be among the clubs interested in the prop, but that is no longer the case, at least for the time being.

The Warriors spoke with Fonua-Blake and his management overnight while he was in England with the Tongan national team, and have now confirmed the prop will continue at the club until 2024.

The Auckland-based company, however, declined to guarantee that would be the case in 2025 and, by implication, 2026.

Fonua-Blake, for his part, stated that he is “fully committed” to the Warriors for the upcoming season.

“My only motivation for this move is family reasons,” Fonua-Blake stated in a club statement confirming the news.

“However, I want all Warriors fans to know that I am 100% committed to playing in the 2024 season.”

“I can’t wait to get back to training with my teammates with the aim to go even further in the upcoming season.”

The Warriors are thought to seek a player swap to assist any release request, but that will now be pushed to the end of the 2024 season when an appraisal of the situation for both the prop and the club can be done.

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