Centre Dane Nielsen is set to be granted a formal release today from the last year of his Vodafone Warriors contract as head coach Andrew McFadden continues to reshape the club’s NRL squad.
The 29-year-old Nielsen has already returned to Australia, his departure coming after the club also released back rowers Feleti Mateo and Jayson Bukuya.
While they’ve gone Kangaroos back rower Ryan Hoffman (Melbourne) and Kiwi second rower Bodene Thompson (Wests Tigers) have both been signed on three-year contracts as has ex-Canberra centre Matt Allwood, who joined the Vodafone Warriors for the start of offseason training two weeks ago.
Also upgraded to NRL contracts are 2014 NYC premiership-winning Vodafone Junior Warriors Sam Lisone, Solomone Kata, Ken Maumalo and Brad Abbey. They join Tuimoala Lolohea and David Fusitu’a, both full-time NRL players this year, who made their first-grade debuts in 2014 while still being NYC-eligible.
Bell said Nielsen’s formal release had been held up while all required paperwork was completed but this is expected to be signed off today.
“As we did with Feleti and Jayson, we’ve reached a decision to let Dane go so he can continue his career in Australia,” said Vodafone Warriors general manager football Dean Bell.
“This is all part of the process we’re working through as Cappy (McFadden) seeks to reshape the NRL squad the way we believe will best serve the club’s needs.”
Bell and McFadden said further signings for 2015 remained a possibility.
“We’re always on the lookout for players to bring into our NRL squad from overseas clubs and from within our own system,” said McFadden.
“But if we sign a player it has to be the right person who can add something to our squad.”
Nielsen, a Queensland State of Origin player in 2011 and 2012, made 30 NRL appearances and scored two tries for the Vodafone Warriors (17 games in 2013 and 13 in 2014). He has played a total of 110 NRL games for Cronulla, Melbourne and the Vodafone Warriors.
He also played five times for the Vodafone Warriors in the New South Wales Cup this year.