NRL 2019: Warriors excited as Kodi Nikorima signing looms

NZ Warriors coach Stephen Kearney kept his cards close to his chest, when discussing the prospect of Kiwis half Kodi Nikorima's mid-season move to Mt Smart.

According to Stuff, Nikorima has committed to a three-and-a-half year deal worth about $500,000 a season and may make his debut as soon as next weekend against the Dragons.

"We've expressed interest in Kodi for a long time," Kearney said. "We looked at the prospect of 2020 at the back end of last year.

"We've left it with him and his management for 2020. Whatever happens this year, that's in their hands.

"I couldn't tell you - you'd have to ask the Broncos."

Former Kiwis coach Kearney is well aware of what Nikorima has to offer a side, both on and off the field, having worked with the 25-year-old at both the Broncos and at international level.

"We expressed an interest in him at the end of last year and beginning of this year. He's a good footballer."

Veteran hooker and Kiwis teammate Issac Luke said Nikorima's acquisition would be a smart move for the club.

"I think it genuinely is going to be a great buy," Luke noted.

"He's an experienced player. He's played a lot of international footy and he's played well for Brisbane as well.

"He's going to bring a lot. He's going to challenge a lot of the boys, if he does come, especially in the halves, even in my area too.

On Tuesday, Bronco's coach Anthony Seibold said he wouldn't consider Nikorima for selection this weekend to give him time to "ponder his future", later confirming that the Warriors had tabled a "substantial" four-year deal for his services.

NRL 2019: Warriors excited as Kodi Nikorima signing looms

Nikorima's potential halves partner at the Warriors, Blake Green, provided a short, sharp assessment that said plenty.

"He's the Kiwis number seven," Green pointed out, with a smirk. "The best halfback in the country, isn't he?

"He's a very good player, if that eventuates."

Looking ahead to the Warrior's clash with the Knights, Kearney believes Green and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck should both be available to return the field on Sunday, after injury absences.

But there's more doubt concerning the availability of wing David Fusitu'a, who trained away  from the main group on Tuesday.

"He looked a little bit dusty, if I'm honest," said Kearney. "We've still got a few more days for him to get that right.

"They're progressing OK. We'll see how they pull up in another session tomorrow and go from there."


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