Warriors sign Origin backrower

SUPER SIGNING: Queensland backrower Jacob Lillyman has signed with the NZ Warriors for two years, starting next season.
SUPER SIGNING: Queensland backrower Jacob Lillyman has signed with the NZ Warriors for two years, starting next season.

Queensland State of Origin backrower, Jacob Lillyman, has signed with the New Zealand Warriors on a two-year contract beginning next season.

Lillyman, 24, who has played four times for the Maroons in the past three seasons, will give the Warriors four players with Origin experience next year.

He will link up with current Queensland representatives Steve Price and Brent Tate as well as former representative Nathan Fien.

Lillyman's arrival will follow the departures of veteran backrowers Logan Swann and Wairangi Koopu at the end of this season.

Lillyman has made 62 appearances for the North Queensland Cowboys and is noted for his defensive qualities.

He played in game one of this year's Origin series, but was dropped for Queensland's series-tying win over New South Wales last week.

Lillyman said the feedback from former Cowboys who had moved to the Warriors had helped him with his decision.

"But most of all, I like what's happening at the club," he said.

"They've got a really good set-up with their coaching staff and squad."

Coach Ivan Cleary said Lillyman's signing would help the Warriors build for the future.

"He's a top-quality defender who's still young but gives us representative experience and a great work ethic."

-NZPA