Front rower Albert Vete will remain with the Vodafone Warriors until the end of the 2019 NRL season after having his new contract officially registered this week.
The 24-year-old, who made his NRL debut in 2015, returned to preseason training this week ahead of his fourth first-grade campaign.
Vete’s 2017 NRL season was cut short when he broke his right arm in the 17th-round clash against Manly in Perth but he recovered in time to play in the club’s Intrust Super Premiership side’s finals campaign.
He heads into the 2018 season just six games short of 50 first-grade games, having originally switched to rugby league after being a stand-out player in secondary schools’ rugby union; he captained St Kentigern College to victory in the Auckland’s First XV competition in 2011.
In his two seasons with the Vodafone Junior Warriors, he amassed 37 NYC appearances, his last in the 2013 grand final loss to Penrith. During the season he was also promoted to make his debut for the now-defunct Auckland Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup.
When the Vodafone Warriors took over the NSW Cup side in 2014, Vete was a regular in his first post-NYC campaign.
An impressive preseason earned him his NRL debut as Vodafone Warrior #197 in the opening round of the 2015 season against Newcastle. Starting their first-grade careers on the same day were fellow front rower Sam Lisone and centre Solomone Kata.
Vete went on to make 21 NRL appearances in his rookie year, his contribution and development bringing further rewards when he was signed on a new contract to the end of the 2017 season. He also made his Test debut for Mate Ma'a Tonga against Toa Samoa in 2015.
Date of Birth: January 24, 1993
Birthplace: Auckland, NZ
Junior Club: Mangere East Mount Albert Lions
Rep Honours: Two Tests for Tonga (2015), Junior Kiwis (2013)
Previous Clubs: Nil
NRL Debut: v Newcastle, Hunter Stadium, March 7, 2015 (Round 1)
NRL Career: 44 appearances (2015-2017)
NRL Points: 16 (4 tries)
ISP Career: 36 appearances for Vodafone Warriors (2014-2017)
ISP Points: 28 (7 tries)
NYC Career: 37 appearances (2012-2013)
NYC Points: 56 (14 tries)