Senior first grader Wayde Egan and rookie Ali Leiataua have both signed contract extensions keeping them at the One New Zealand Warriors until the end of the 2025 NRL season.
Egan (26), who was signed until 2024, has followed up his 100th career milestone match against the Eels on Saturday night by adding another season to his contract to extend his time with the club to six seasons.
The 20-year-old Leiataua, who became Warrior #282 when he debuted against Canberra on June 9, has signed a two-year contract which will see him join the club’s full-time NRL squad from next season.
“Wayde and Ali come from different ends of the scale in terms of experience but both play key roles in our plans for the future,” said general manager recruitment, pathways and development Andrew McFadden.
“Wayde provides so much to the team and the squad with his ability and leadership while Ali lived up to expectations with his NRL debut against the Raiders.”
Egan joined the One New Zealand Warriors from Penrith in 2020 while Leiataua, nephew of rugby league legend Ali Lauitiiti, has progressed through the pathways since first coming into the club’s system as a 14-year-old.
“Wayde is a hugely influential player for us,” said One New Zealand Warriors head coach Andrew Webster.
“He is a real leader while his ability and decision making on the field is critical to the way we perform.
“In Ali we see a centre of special quality and he emphasised that with his debut when he did a brilliant job marking Jarrod Croker on what was such a big night in Canberra.”
Egan became Warrior #240 when he made his club debut against Newcastle in 2020. In 13 appearances this year, he has scored five tries (his best for a season to date) while he averages 53 metres and 37 tackles a match.
Due to the team being based in Australia for three seasons, he had to wait until his 51st appearance for the Warriors before playing a home game at Go Media Stadium Mt Smart for the first time last season.
Leiataua was a foundation player in the One New Zealand Warriors’ first SG Ball Cup side in 2020 and has been a standout for the club’s New South Wales side in its return to the competition this season. He has scored nine tries in 13 matches, averaging 136 metres a game with 51 tackles breaks.
In his NRL debut, he was given the task of marking Canberra veteran Jarrod Croker in his 300th milestone game in a charged atmosphere at GIO Stadium. Leiataua handled it superbly making 89 metres from 10 runs with a line break, a line break assist and three tackle breaks plus 18 tackles without a miss and no errors.
|Born||March 20, 1997|
|Junior club||Lithgow Storm|
|NRL debut||Penrith Panthers v North Queensland Cowboys, 1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville, March 29, 2018 (Rd 4)|
|Warriors debut||v Newcastle Knights, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, March 14, 2020 (Rd 1)|
|NRL appearances||100 (2018-2023)
Penrith: 29 (2018-2019)
Warriors: 71 (2020-2023)
|NRL points||68 (17 tries)
Penrith: 3 tries
Warriors: 14 tries
|Born||January 9, 2003|
|Junior club||Papatoetoe Panthers|
|NRL debut||One New Zealand Warriors v Canberra Raiders, GIO Stadium, Canberra, June 9, 2023 (Rd 15)|
|NRL appearances||1 (2023)|
|NSW Cup appearances||13 (2023)|
|NSW Cup points||36 (9 tries)|