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After making four NRL appearances for the Eels in 2013, the 22-year-old Palmerston North-born Pewhairangi spent the 2014 season playing New South Wales Cup football with feeder club Wentworthville.

A decision to register for Vodafone Warriors’ New South Wales Cup trial last month has given him a new rugby league destination after he switched from rugby union as a teenager.

“We were well aware of Api’s ability after watching him come through the NYC and New South Wales Cup as well as playing some NRL football for the Eels,” said Vodafone Warriors general manager football Dean Bell.

“He was a real standout at our New South Wales Cup trial. We immediately invited him to join our squad for offseason training and he has continued to make a big impression which has now resulted in him being contracted.

“He has played in the centres but we like the look of him in the halves where he will definitely add to our depth.”

Pewhairangi, fluent in Te Reo, played three games in the centres and one at standoff for the Eels in 2013.

He played rugby union in Manawatu but switched to rugby league at the age of 17, forging a future in the code when he moved to Wellington and joined the Te Aroha Eels.

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