Energetic utility forward Jazz Tevaga has extended his stay with the Vodafone Warriors until the end of the 2021 NRL season.
Confirmation of the 23-year-old Toa Samoa international’s re-signing comes as he eyes his 50th career appearance and fourth consecutive start in the No 13 jersey in the Vodafone Warriors’ 18th-round encounter with the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks tomorrow night.
“We’re thrilled to have Jazz signed for two more seasons,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney.
“He brings so much to our group with his energy on and off the field.
“He isn’t the biggest forward going around by a long way but that doesn’t bother him. What he offers is intensity and enthusiasm either starting or coming off the bench.
“He certainly gives us tremendous value and it’s wonderful having him around the club.”
Named the 2018 Dally M interchange player of the year, the Christchurch-born livewire has firmed in a starting role in the last few weeks.
Impressive contributions against Penrith, Newcastle and Brisbane in the last three rounds have seen him retain the loose forward’s job.
He was given the opportunity to start when regular Lachlan Burr was rested for the clash against Penrith. Tevaga responded by making 184 metres from 21 runs along with 50 tackles and backed it up with a 56-minute stint against Newcastle last week when he made 114 metres from 11 carries plus 39 tackles.
He was on the field for the full 90 minutes in last weekend’s 18-18 extra-time draw with the Broncos when he made 184 metres from 22 runs and complemented it with a herculean defensive workload of 72 tackles.
Tevaga is another product of the Vodafone Warriors’ development system.
He was originally signed following an NYC open trial in 2013, going on to make his under-20 (then NYC) debut in 2014. He played 20 times that year including the grand final when the Vodafone Junior Warriors won the premiership for the third time.
Date of Birth: September 4, 1995
Birthplace: Christchurch, NZ
Junior Clubs: Burnham Chevaliers (Christchurch), Papakura Sea Eagles (Auckland)
Position: Loose forward/hooker
Previous Clubs: Nil
Rep Honours: 4 Tests Toa Samoa (2017), Rugby League World Cup (2017), Junior Kiwis (2015)
Club and FG Debut: v Melbourne, Mount Smart Stadium, 20/03/16 (Rd 3)
Vodafone Warriors No: 209
NRL Career: 49 appearances (2016-2019)
NRL Points: 12 (3 tries)
Canterbury Cup Career: 34 appearances (2015-2018)
Canterbury Cup Points: 28 (7 tries)
NYC Career: 45 appearances (2014-2015)
NYC Points: 40 (10 tries)