Warriors sign English Super League prop

DAVID LONG
Last updated 11:35 16/06/2013

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The Warriors have signed an English player for next year's season, but it's not Sam Tomkins, yet.

Despite Tomkins last week playing down suggestions that he has decided to move to the NRL, Sunday News understand that his representatives, Wigan and the Warriors are now very close to reaching an agreement.

Tellingly though Tomkins, who was the man of the match in the England's 30-10 win over the Exiles yesterday, has been following the Warriors' turnaround in form and has been telling the UK media that he likes Auckland.

"The Warriors have won their past three games," Tomkins said on Thursday. "Auckland is a nice part of the world and I went there with England in 2010."

In the meantime, the Warriors have signed a young prop from England for next season. It is believed it is Glenn Riley, who plays for Warrington in the Super League, but there were a couple of other props that Warriors general manager football Dean Bell and CEO Wayne Scurrah met with when they went to England a few months ago.

Meanwhile, the Warriors will soon know whether they will offer Nathan Friend a contract for next season. The hooker has been told the club aren't taking up their option on him for 2014 and as such he will become a free agent, with a couple of NRL clubs already expressing an interest in him.

The Warriors need to finalise what their salary costs will be next year before knowing if they can fit Friend inside the cap, but would be more of a nice luxury rather than a key player for them.

Thomas Leuluai is expected to move to hooker next season, the option was taken up on Pita Godinet and it's only a matter of time before the highly promising Siliva Havili makes his NRL debut.

The Warriors have their first bye of the season next week and Warriors coach Matt Elliott says he has told the players they don't need to turn up for training again until Friday, to prepare for the following week's game against the Broncos.

"The players have got a home programme to do but they'll have until Friday off," Elliott said.

"So that will give us five training sessions going into the next game. The NRL season is such an arduous battle, so we'll give them the opportunity to get away from footy.

"They're not getting away from training, the expectations are there and we've got some training protocols in place to ensure that that's adhered to.

"The key thing is to use that constructively. Most of the players I've spoken to individually about it and they've got plans, but what we've agreed to do is think about it on Monday, not prior."

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