Love-Henry joins the Warriors
THE Warriors have made another raid on the Brisbane Broncos, signing promising second rower Matiu Love-Henry for next season.
The 21-year-old will rejoin the Warriors next year, having spent two seasons with the Broncos.
Although Love-Henry had a firstgrade contract he never made it into the NRL team at the Wayne Bennett-coached side, but did play for them at this year’s Auckland Nines and was a stand-out performer for Norths Devils in the Queensland Cup.
A source in Australia, with insider knowledge at the Broncos, has revealed that while they were keen to keep Love-Henry, salary cap pressure, caused by how the cap is expected to be measured from next season, has resulted in him being signed by the Warriors.
Although he won’t be the biggest name recruit by the Warriors over the off-season, he is just the type of player the club needs.
He is a strong ball-runner, with a side step that can cut a defensive line wide open.
Love-Henry, who played for New Zealand at under-18 level, joins Kiwis prop Adam Blair and strength and conditioning guru Alex Corvo as recent signings from the Broncos.
Other signings for next season are Tohu Harris from the Storm, Leivaha Pulu from the Titans and Gerard Beale at the Sharks.
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney would have known Love-Henry from the 2016 season when they were both at the Broncos.
Love-Henry, who comes from Taupo, was at the Warriors before he went to Australia and this season played alongside another former Warrior, John Palavi.
It was never going to be easy for Love-Henry to crack the Broncos’ first-grade team, with veterans Alex Glenn, Matt Gillett and Sam Thaiday all in front of him.
However, there should be more opportunities for him to make his NRL debut at the Warriors and it gives the club more depth, especially if Bodene Thompson isn’t re-signed.
Meanwhile, it is looking like something big is brewing at Mt Smart Stadium, with a significant announcement coming soon.
The club has decided to push back its annual Members’ Forum to November.
It usually takes place during the season or soon after it.
The club sent an email to members last week, saying this was done to ‘‘to ensure members will be given greater transparency around key decisions that are made in the coming weeks on the back of a very disappointing season in which we fell well short of expectations’’.
New Warriors recruit Matiu Love-Henry is a strong ball-runner boasting a lethal side-step.