Young Melbourne utility signed

Young Melbourne Storm utility Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad has filled another place in the Vodafone Warriors’ 2016 NRL squad after being signed on a two-year contract.

The signing tops off a week which also saw the 20-year-old make a try-scoring Test debut for the Cook Islands in last Saturday night’s 2017 Rugby League World Cup qualifier against Mate Ma’a Tonga.

In the last two seasons he has scored 16 tries in 37 appearances for the Storm’s NYC side. He collected two awards in 2014 being named Melbourne’s NYC back of the year and receiving the Greg Brentnall Young Achievers’ Award.

The Auckland-born Nicoll-Klokstad will bring backline versatility to the Vodafone Warriors’ squad; he can play in the halves, centres and fullback as well as the wing, where he lined up for the Kukis last week.

“Charnze is a player we’ve been interested in for a while,” said Vodafone Warriors recruitment and development manager Tony Iro.

“He consistently impressed as an NYC player and now takes the next step up. He gives us an option for a lot of positions and certainly has the potential to become an NRL player.”

Nicoll-Klokstad started playing rugby league with the City Newton Dragons where one of his team-mates was 2015 Vodafone Junior Warriors captain Toafofoa Sipley, who will now be one of his team-mates in the Vodafone Warriors’ NRL sqaud. Other Auckland clubs he spent time with included Mount Albert and Richmond.

Nicoll-Klokstad left Auckland for Melbourne when he was 15, linking up with the Altona Roosters enroute to the Storm’s NYC side.

His surname provides an interesting back story. His mother is of Cook Islands-Norwegian extraction while his father is Maori.

He is the sixth player signed to join the Vodafone Warriors for the 2016 season following Kiwi internationals Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Issac Luke plus Ligi Sao, Blake Ayshford, Henare Wells and Jeff Robson.

2016 Vodafone Warriors NRL squad

Backs: Matt Allwood, Blake Ayshford, David Fusitu’a, Konrad Hurrell, Shaun Johnson, Solomone Kata, Thomas Leuluai, Mason Lino, Tuimoala Lolohea, Ken Maumalo, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Marata Niukore, Jeff Robson, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Manu Vatuvei, Henare Wells, Jonathan Wright 

Forwards: Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Charlie Gubb, Ben Henry, Ryan Hoffman, Jacob Lillyman, Sam Lisone, Sione Lousi, Issac Luke,Simon Mannering, Ben Matulino, John Palavi, Upu Poching, Nathaniel Roache, Ligi Sao, Toafofoa Sipley, Bodene Thompson, Albert Vete