Ben Matulino yet to decide on future as speculation builds over Warriors exit

Warriors prop Ben Matulino has attracted interest from both the Tigers and Newcastle.
MARK KOLBE/GETTY IMAGES

Warriors prop Ben Matulino has attracted interest from both the Tigers and Newcastle.

Warriors prop Ben Matulino has yet to make a decision on his future despite reports linking him with a move to the Wests Tigers.

While Matulino has held discussions with the Tigers, and also attracted interest from Newcastle, a report from Australia claimed he had already put pen to paper on a deal that would see him reunite with former Warriors coach Ivan Cleary in Sydney.

However, his manager, Steve Gillis, told Stuff that was not the case and that the 23-test Kiwis prop remained open to staying at Mt Smart as he continues to weigh up his options.

The report comes at an interesting time for Matulino, who is in line to play his first game of the year against the Storm on Anzac Day after being sidelined by a knee injury.

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Despite a disappointing 2016 campaign, the 28-year-old is still regarded as one of the best props in the NRL and the Warriors have cleary missed his go-forward in the opening seven weeks of the competition.

A mainstay of the Warriors pack since making his debut under Cleary in 2008, Matulino is one of a host of Warriors players off-contract at the end of the season, including star halves Kieran Foran and Shaun Johnson. And while securing their services remain the priority, Matulino would leave a big void upfront if he was to sign elsewhere.

Cleary, meanwhile, has been charged with rebuilding the Tigers after former coach Jason Taylor was sacked just three games into the season.

That task has only been made more difficult following star five-eighth Mitchell Moses' request for a release to join the Eels, having already signed with Parramatta from next season.

The Tigers have also been tipped to lose fullback James Tedesco (to the Roosters) and prop Aaron Woods (Bulldogs), with Matulino seen as the ideal replacement for the latter should the reports be confirmed.

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 - Stuff

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