Tohu Harris has today been confirmed as captain for the second season running ahead of the One New Zealand Warriors’ first home-based campaign since 2019.
The 31-year-old became the club’s 12th captain when he was appointed to take over from the departed Roger Tuivasa-Sheck following the 2021 season.
“Tohu has been a tremendous leader for us in every aspect of the role both on the field and off it,” said One New Zealand Warriors CEO Cameron George.
“He has made a fantastic impact behind the scenes in driving our connection to our home in New Zealand while always maintaining the highest standards in all he does as a professional athlete. He’s a wonderful asset for the One New Zealand Warriors.”
Harris, the Simon Mannering Medal winner in both 2020 and 2021, was again among the One New Zealand Warriors’ most consistent players despite a delayed return in 2022 after recovering from knee surgery; he averaged 36 tackles, 15 runs and 131 metres a game in his 15 appearances.
“I’ve always had great admiration and respect for Tohu watching him from the outside,” said first-year One New Zealand Warriors head coach Andrew Webster.
“Now I have the pleasure and privilege of working with him. It has more than reinforced his standing as one of the best players in the game. He brings so much to our club and to our team and I’m excited for what lies ahead with Tohu as our captain.”
Harris is set to lead the One New Zealand Warriors in a season which will see them play NRL matches at four different venues in New Zealand starting with the first-round home game against Newcastle at Sky Stadium in Wellington on March 3.
They also have nine matches at Mount Smart Stadium, a home game against Brisbane at Napier’s McLean Park in May and an away match against the Wests Tigers at Hamilton’s FMG Stadium Waikato.
“I’m honoured to be able to lead the club again in what is such an important season for us,” said Harris.
“We had a challenging time being away from home for three years but it’s been exciting for us being back home in familiar surroundings at last. We can’t wait to play in front of fans around the country and reconnect with them.”
The match against the Broncos in Napier on May 25 will be a personal highlight for the Hawkes’ Bay born and bred Harris when he’ll have the chance to lead the side in front of family and friends.
Two major milestones beckon for him in 2023. The round three match against the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville is set to be his 200th career appearance while he could also play his 100th match for the One New Zealand Warriors this season (he is sitting on 80 games going into the season).
ONE NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS | CAPTAINS
1995 | Dean Bell (#1)
1996 | Greg Alexander (#7)
1997-1999 | Matthew Ridge (#40)
2000 | John Simon (#69)
2001 | Stacey Jones (#24) and Kevin Campion (#86)
2002-2004 | Monty Betham (#61)
2005-2009 | Steve Price (#121)
2010-2015 | Simon Mannering (#125)
2016 | Ryan Hoffman (#195)
2017-2021 | Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (#203)
2022-2023 | Tohu Harris (#224)
Born: January 7, 1992
Birthplace: Hastings, NZ
Junior club: Tamatea Sports Club
Position: Loose forward/second row/prop
Previous clubs: Melbourne Storm (2013-2017)
First grade debut: Melbourne Storm v St George Illawarra Dragons, AAMI Park,
Melbourne, March 10, 2013 (Rd 1)
One New Zealand Warriors debut: v South Sydney Rabbitohs, Optus Stadium,
Perth, March 10, 2018 (Rd 1)
One New Zealand Warriors No: 224
NRL appearances: 197 appearances
Melbourne Storm: 117 appearances (2013-2017)
One New Zealand Warriors: 80 appearances (2018-2022)
NRL points: 124 (27 tries, 8 goals)
Melbourne Storm: 88 (18 tries, 8 goals)
One New Zealand Warriors: 36 (9 tries)
Representative: 16 Tests New Zealand (2013-16), Four Nations (2014, 2016), Māori All-Stars (2019)