Former Wests Tigers and Cronulla hooker Manaia Cherrington is joining the Vodafone Warriors for the rest of this season and next on a second-tier contract.
A member of the Kiwis’ squad in England in 2015, the 22-year-old has been granted an immediate release from his one-year contract with the Sharks.
He is set to debut for the Vodafone Warriors’ Intrust Super Premiership side against the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in west Sydney on Sunday (1.00pm kick-off local time; 3.00pm NZT).
Cherrington was signed by the Vodafone Warriors after Erin Clark approached the club seeking a release from his contract.
Clark, who made his NRL debut against Melbourne in round two this season, has been used mainly at NYC level this year.
“Erin’s management sought a release on personal grounds,” said Vodafone Warriors recruitment and development manager Tony Iro.
“It’s disappointing for Erin but he has our support and best wishes for the future.
“Fortunately, we were able to secure Manaia as a replacement. He has come through the system with Wests Tigers as well as being involved with both the Junior Kiwis and the Kiwis.”
Whangarei-born Cherrington made 45 NYC appearances for Wests Tigers in 2013-2014 before going on to his NRL debut for the club, playing a total of 16 first-grade matches in 2015 and 2016. He also toured England with the Kiwis in late 2015 although he didn’t play in any of the three Tests.
First a Junior Kiwi in 2013, he led the national under-20 side to a 15-14 victory over the Junior Kangaroos at Mount Smart Stadium in 2014.
Clark made his NYC debut for the Vodafone Junior Warriors as a 17-year-old in 2015. He made 27 appearances that season and took his career total to 45 this year. He was used 14 times at ISP level last season and once this year.
Date of birth: August 3, 1994
Birthplace: Whangarei, NZ
Junior Club: Quakers Hill Destroyers (Sydney)
Rep Honours: Kiwis (2015), Junior Kiwis (2013-2014)
Previous Clubs: Wests vTigers (2015-2016), Cronulla (2017)
NRL Debut: Wests Tigers v Gold Coast, Leichhardt Oval, June 5, 2015 (Rd 13)
NRL Career: 16 appearances for Wests Tigers (2015-2016)
NRL Points: 4 (1 try)