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Tongan powerhouse Ben Murdoch-Masila eager to join depleted Warriors on loan

Mate Ma’a Tonga enforcer Ben Murdoch-Masila is the latest prop to put his hand up and offer to help the Warriors out in their injury crisis, although he’d need to be loaned from the UK.

Ben Murdoch-Masila of Tonga on the charge. 2017 Rugby League World Cup Semi Final, England v Tonga at Mt Smart Stadium Source: Photosport

The 11-Test Tongan has signed to play for the Warriors from 2021 but the forward said he’s interested in joining them early on a loan deal while the Super League is suspended.

“I’m still contracted to Warrington at the moment, but if they are willing to put me out on loan or something like that, it could be good for the club and myself,” Murdoch-Masila told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Bunty Afoa, Leeson Ah Mau, Jazz Tevaga, Jackson Frei and Adam Keighran have all been sidelined ahead of the season’s restart next week, leaving the Warriors’ squad depth being tested heavily and made worse by the disadvantage of being stationed in Australia, far from home and resources.

Retired greats Paul Gallen and Sam Thaiday have expressed some interest in resuming their careers to help the Warriors, but so far the only acquisition they’ve made to offset their losses is Canberra forward Jack Murchie.

The NRL initially knocked back the Warriors' request for loan signings, but they have since had a change of heart and said they will reassess the request next week.

Murdoch-Masila, contracted to Super League club Warrington until the end of the season, said he was open to the prospect of a loan arrangement.

Source: Photosport

“It will keep me fit so that when they need me and the Super League first starts back up, I’m ready and raring to go and they could have me back.

“I’m not opposed to it if the club grants a loan deal.”

The 29-year-old said he was impressed with the Warriors’ commitment to the premiership, despite the prospect of being away from their families for a lengthy amount of time.

“Big hearts for doing that, they are sacrificing time with their family,” he said.

“That was one of the main reasons I signed with them for next year, to be with my family [in New Zealand]. For them to do that, a big congratulations to them. I know how hard it would be for them as well because I’ve been away for five seasons now and it has taken its toll.

“I know what they’re feeling and big hearts for doing what they are doing.”

Murdoch-Masila added he was still training on his own so he’d be fully fit for whenever he was required to return to the field – in whatever jersey.

“I look forward to training even though there isn’t any game on the weekends,” he said.

“I’m just trying to keep in that routine just in case the competition springs up and we’re all ready to go. I’m always looking forward to being active.

“You kind of analyse things now that you’re not playing, you look at what you could do in your game.”