Contract extensions for young guns

The Vodafone Warriors have today confirmed contract extensions for NRL rookies Tuimoala Lolohea, Solomone Kata and Sam Lisone as well as promising prop Toafofoa Sipley.

After an initial taste of first-grade football last year, the 20-year-old Lolohea has been ever-present this season appearing in all 11 matches so far as have Kata (20) and Lisone (21).

Lolohea and Kata (Mate Ma’a Tonga) and Lisone (Toa Samoa) also made their international debuts in last month’s Pacific Test in Robina.

Vodafone Junior Warriors captain Sipley (20) played his first New South Wales Cup match against the Newcastle Knights on Sunday following a string of impressive performances in the NYC and for the Junior Kiwis.

Lolohea, Kata and Lisone have all been secured to the end of the 2018 NRL season while Sipley, now in his third and final NYC campaign, has been signed to 2017.

“All four players are outstanding examples of how our pathways are working,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden.

“They’ve all been developed through the NYC and have also had experience in our New South Wales Cup side.

“I can’t say enough about the way Tui, Sol and Sam have progressed in the NRL this year. They’ve absolutely grabbed their opportunity to not only claim spots but to establish themselves as first-choice NRL players. Tof has shown he’s right on the same track as well.

“We have great confidence in all four of them playing a significant role in our future.”

Lolohea, Kata, Lisone and Sipley were all in the club’s NYC premiership-winning side last year. 

Lolohea and Kata both scored tries in Sunday’s 24-20 win over the Newcastle Knights, the Vodafone Warriors’ third straight NRL victory. It was Kata’s ninth try in 11 games, leaving him just ahead of Manu Vatuvei as the Vodafone Warriors’ leading try scorer so far this season.

Lisone has impressed throughout the campaign with consistent performances from the bench when he has been injected for the experienced Ben Matulino and Jacob Lillyman.

Sipley was named players’ player of the day in consecutive matches by his NYC team-mates before earning promotion to the NSW Cup side last weekend.

 

SOLOMONE KATA

Date of Birth: 03/12/1994

Birthplace: Neiafu, Tonga

Junior Club: Howick Hornets

Height: 177cm

Weight: 97kg

Position: Centre

Rep Honours: 1 Test for Mate Ma’a Tonga (2015), NRL Nines (2014-15)

Previous Clubs: Nil

Club Number: 193

NRL Debut: v Newcastle, Hunter Stadium, March 07, 2015 (Round 1)

NRL Career: 11 games (2015), 36 points (9 tries)

Educated: Sacred Heart College

 

SAM LISONE

Date of Birth: 19/02/1994

Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

Junior Club: Otahuhu Leopards

Position: Prop

Height: 184cm

Weight: 105kg

Rep Honours: 1 Test for Toa Samoa (2015), NRL Nines (2015), Junior Kiwis (2014) 

Previous Clubs: Nil

Club Number: 196

NRL Debut: v Newcastle, Hunter Stadium, March 07, 2015 (Round 1)

NRL Career: 11 games (2015), 0 points

Educated: Tangaroa College

 

TUIMOALA LOLOHEA

Date of Birth: 23/01/1995 

Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

Junior Club: Marist Saints

Position: Fullback/Centre/Wing/Standoff

Height: 177cm

Weight: 92kg   

Rep Honours: 1 Test for Mate Ma’a Tonga (2015), NRL Nines (2014-15), Junior Kiwis (2013)

Previous Clubs: Nil

Club Number: 192

NRL Debut: v Manly, Mount Smart Stadium, 27/07/2014 (Rd 20)

NRL Career: 14 games (2014-2015), 16 points (4 tries) 

Educated: Kelston Boys’ High School

 

TOAFOFOA SIPLEY

Date of Birth: 05/01/1995

Birthplace: Auckland, NZ

Junior Club: Richmond Rovers

Position: Prop

Height: 188cm

Weight: 116kg

Rep Honours: Junior Kiwis (2015)

Previous Clubs: Nil

Club Number: Yet to make debut

NYC Career: 43 games (2013-2015), 56 points (14 tries)

NSW Cup Career: 1 game (2015), 0 points

Educated: St Paul’s College

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