Warriors icon Manu Vatuvei to leave club after 14 seasons for deal with Super League front-runners - report


Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei is reportedly leaving the club and NRL to take up an opportunity to play with a British club in the UK Super League.

Manu Vatuvei scores a try.
Vodafone Warriors v Parramatta Eels. NRL Rugby League. Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday 4 September 2016. © Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz

Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei scores a try against the Parramatta Eels.

Source: Photosport

The Kiwi league icon's contract with the Warriors doesn't expire until the end of the 2018 season, but reports from Guardian rugby league reporter Aaron Bowler say Vatuvei has signed with the Salford Red Devils.

The news would mean the Warriors would have granted Vatuvei an early release from the contract.

It is uncertain whether the reported deal would see Vatuvei join Salford effective immediately or next season.

The 31-year-old has been weighing up his options this season with the club effectively putting him on the backburner after battling shoulder, rib, hamstring and knee injuries in the past three years.

Players such as Ken Maumalo, David Fusitu'a and rookie sensation Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad have taken up the roles on the wing this season, with Vatuvei only appearing once in the NRL this year in the Warriors' 12-24 loss to the Bulldogs in Dunedin in Round 3.

Marcelo Montoya of the Bulldogs takes a ball from Manu Vatuvei Of The Warriors during the NRL Rugby League match, Bulldogs v Warriors, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand, 17th March 2017. Copyright photo: John Davidson / www.photosport.nz

Marcelo Montoya of the Bulldogs takes a ball from Manu Vatuvei of the Warriors.

Source: Photosport

The 28-Test Kiwi played just 53 minutes in that game in March before he was sidelined for five weeks with a knee injury.

Vatuvei, who was named the International Winger of the year in 2008 after the Kiwis' Rugby League World Cup triumph, has played 226 games for the Warriors since debuting in 2004.

"We're aware Manu is weighing up his options but nothing has been confirmed," a Warriors spokesperson told 1 NEWS.

Salford currently sit second in the Super League with only three rounds of round robin play left.

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