The Vodafone Warriors have made another key investment in their future by extending hooker Taniela Otukolo’s contract to the end of the 2024 season.
The 18-year-old was on the NRL team’s extended bench as hooker cover for four matches against Manly, St George Illawarra, Melbourne and North Queensland and has again been included in the 21-man squad for tomorrow night’s clash against the Wests Tigers.
He has also been playing for the Vodafone Warriors’ feeder club Redcliffe in the Queensland Rugby League’s colts’ competition.
“Taniela has come through our development pathway system at the Vodafone Warriors and this further shows how beneficial our relationship with Redcliffe is,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.
“With Taniela’s signing along with several other players, we’re entering an exciting phase in the club’s future.”
With Taniela’s signing along with several other players, we’re entering an exciting phase in the club’s futureCameron George Vodafone Warriors CEO
Extending Otukolo’s contract comes on the back of the Vodafone Warriors securing NRL rookies Reece Walsh and Rocco Berry on long-term deals as well as signing exciting young second rowers Zyon Maiuu and Jacob Laban.
“Taniela has been so impressive in his training and his development to earn a spot in our 21-man NRL squad over the last month,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Nathan Brown.
I’m sure we will see him in our game day 17 at some stageNathan Brown Vodafone Warriors head coach
“He’s eager to learn and is always working hard on his game. I’m sure we will see him in our game day 17 at some stage if he keeps working hard on the basics.”
Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan said Otukolo shows all the signs of becoming a quality NRL player.
“I’m really proud of Taniela’s improvement not only as a player but he’s really matured off the field and gained a lot of confidence being around the NRL group,” he said.
“He was pencilled in to go to Redcliffe for the season but when we lost Karl Lawton to injury he earned the chance to stay with our wider squad.
Some of the skills he possesses are off the top shelfPeter O'Sullivan Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager
“He has been in great form for Redcliffe. While he is a work in progress some of the skills he possesses are off the top shelf.”
Otukolo was in exceptional form for the Vodafone Warriors in the S G Ball Cup last season before the competition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. By then he had scored nine tries in just six matches.
Born: May 22, 2002
Birthplace: Tofoa, Tonga
Junior Club: Otahuhu Leopards
Rep Honours: New Zealand Resident 18s