Peta Hiku, Matiu Love-Henry return to the Warriors confirmed
The Warriors have confirmed the return of prodigal son Peta Hiku on a three-year contract.
The club let Hiku slip away in 2012 when he was a junior through not offering him a contract, but the utility has had a talented career in Australia and Britain since then and is now welcomed back into the fold, while backrower Matiu Love-Henry is also returning after a stint overseas.
Stuff reported last month that Hiku would be joining the Warriors, after gaining a release on compassionate grounds from English Super League club Warrington Wolves.
The 24-year-old switched to the Wolves from the Penrith Panthers earlier this season and had two more years on his contract with the club.
The Warriors confirmed on Monday that Hiku, who played for the Junior Warriors in 2012, has signed up for three years. He was named in the Kiwis' Rugby League World Cup squad last week.
Taupo-raised Love-Henry, who played 32 NYC games for the Junior Warriors in 2014-2015, is coming home after two years with the Brisbane Broncos where he played for the Norths Devils in Queensland's Intrust Super Cup. He has a one-year deal.
"We're delighted to be able to secure Peta, a player who brings us not only international experience but also a background in both the NRL and the Super League," said Warriors CEO Cameron George.
"Another benefit is the working relationship he has with Stephen (Kearney) through his time with the Kiwis.
"Matiu didn't manage to break into the NRL with Brisbane but Stephen was impressed with his development and attitude when he was at the Broncos."
Hiku is the fourth Kiwi international the Warriors have secured for 2018 and beyond, joining Kiwi captain Adam Blair, second rower Tohu Harris and backline utility Gerard Beale along with 2017 Tonga international Leivaha Pulu.
Hiku made 23 appearances for the Junior Warriors in 2012 and was named the club's NYC player of the year. He spent the next three seasons with Manly, quickly earning his NRL debut and going on to score 28 tries in 60 games while being used at fullback, wing and centre. He moved to Penrith in 2016 before joining Warrington where he scored 10 tries in just 11 appearances.
Hiku made his test debut in 2014 and was a key contributor to the Kiwis' Four Nations triumph, covering the fullback position for the injured Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
He joins fellow new signings Blair and Beale in the Kiwis along with Simon Mannering, Shaun Johnson and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.