Utility forward Jazz Tevaga's big week has been iced today with confirmation of his re-signing with the Vodafone Warriors on a one-year deal for 2019 with an option for the 2020 NRL season.
The energetic back rower/hooker, who recently turned 23, has just finished his best NRL season since his 2016 debut making 20 appearances, culminating in him being named the Interchange Player of the Year at Wednesday night’s 2018 Dally M Awards.
“We’ve been really pleased with the way Jazz has developed his game this year and were thrilled when he won the Dally M interchange award this week,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney.
“He was important to our success, the way he came off the bench to bring energy and toughness playing big minutes.”
The Christchurch-born, Papakura-raised Tevaga took his career tally to 35 appearances this season, averaging 56 minutes, 10 runs, 85 metres and 37 tackles a game.
“There were other offers but I love it here and always wanted to stay,” said Tevaga.
“We made progress this year. We have something to build on and I want to be part of our success next year and after that.”
Tevaga is a product of the club’s development pathways, originally picked up by the Vodafone Warriors after an under-20 open trial in 2013.
“We have a really good crop of young players making their way in the NRL,” said Vodafone Warriors general manager football Brian Smith.
“Jazz is another one of them who now joins David (Fusitu’a), Ken (Maumalo) and Bunty (Afoa) from that group who have re-signed.”
Tevaga became a fixture for the Vodafone Junior Warriors in 2014, going on to play at loose forward in their NYC grand final win over Brisbane when his team-mates included other current NRL squad members Nathaniel Roache, Solomone Kata, Mason Lino, Sam Lisone, James Bell, Maumalo and Afoa.
In 2015 he played another 25 games to finish his NYC career with 45 appearances, was selected for the Junior Kiwis and also made his debut in the club’s New South Wales (now Intrust Super Premiership) side.
In 2016 he made his NRL debut in the third round in a season when he mixed NRL and ISP appearances.
Last year he represented Toa Samoa at the Rugby League World Cup.
Born: September 4, 1995
Birthplace: Christchurch, NZ
Junior Clubs: Burnham Chevaliers (Christchurch), Papakura Sea Eagles (Auckland)
Positions: Loose forward/hooker
Rep Honours: 4 Tests for Toa Samoa (2017), Rugby League World Cup (2017), Junior Kiwis (2015)
Club and FG Debut: v Melbourne, Mount Smart Stadium, March 23, 2016 (Rd 3)
NRL Career: 35 appearances (2016-2018)
NRL Points: 8 (2 tries)
Intrust Super Premiership Career: 34 appearances (2015-2018)
Intrust Super Premiership Points: 28 points (7 tries)
NYC Career: 45 games (2014-2015)
NYC Points: 40 (10 tries)