Front rower Chris Satae has re-signed with the Vodafone Warriors until the end of the 2021 NRL season.
The 191cm, 114kg prop has established himself on the NRL side’s interchange recently, set to make his seventh straight appearance – and the 11th of his career – when the Vodafone Warriors face Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.
“Chris has made big strides this season and has really settled into his role with the NRL side lately,” said Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan.
“He attracted interest from other clubs, but we were committed to ensuring he stayed with us.
“This is just reward for the work he has put in since coming into our system, developing his game in the Intrust Super Premiership side and taking it up to the next level in the NRL. What we really like about Chris is that there’s still plenty of improvement in him.”
A St Paul’s College old boy, Satae broke into the club’s ISP side in the opening round last season, going on to play 19 times and also earning his NRL debut against the North Queensland Cowboys in round 20.
“I’m really excited knowing I’m going to be here for another three seasons,” said Satae.
“I’m enjoying my time with the players and the coaching staff and I’m really grateful to everyone for the way they’ve helped me.”
In his seven appearances off the bench so far this season, Satae has averaged 23 minutes, almost five carries, 45 metres and 17 tackles a game. Used in 10 ISP matches, he averages 54 minutes, 14 runs, 147 metres and 26 tackles.
Meanwhile, Vodafone Warriors centre Anthony Gelling will return to the Super League at the end of the season after realising his dream of playing in the NRL this year.
Gelling, signed on a one-year deal in January, made his first-grade debut at the age of 27 in the fourth-round victory over the Sydney Roosters.
After more than 110 games for the Wigan Warriors from 2012-2017, he has gone on to make six NRL appearances for the Vodafone Warriors so far this season.
Gelling has been signed to resume his Super League career with the Widnes Vikings next season.
“We’ve really enjoyed having Anthony in our squad this season,” said Vodafone Warriors general manager football Brian Smith.
“It’s been great seeing him achieve his goal of playing in the NRL. He has added to our depth and given us experience but now has the chance to return to the Super League.
“He’ll leave with our best wishes and thanks for his contribution but there’s still a lot of football ahead of him this season before he finishes up.”
Gelling has scored two tries in his six NRL games while he has also played six times for the club’s Intrust Super Premiership side.
Date of birth: October 22, 1992
Birthplace: Tofoa, Tonga
Junior Clubs: Glenora Bears, Point Chevalier Pirates
Rep Honours: NZ Residents (2016)
Club & FG Debut: v North Queensland, 1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville, 22/07/2017 (Rd 20)
Club No: 219
NRL Career: 10 appearances for Vodafone Warriors (2017-2018)
NRL Points: 0
ISP Career: 29 appearances for Vodafone Warriors (2017-2018)
ISP Points: 16 (4 tries)