NRL 2020: NZ Warriors forward Lachlan Burr joins Todd Payten at North Queensland

Former NZ Warriors coach Todd Payten has snapped up hard-working forward Lachlan Burr to join him at North Queensland.

Since their NRL playoff hopes ended last month, the Auckland-based club has slashed its roster, as its prepares for the arrival of new coach Nathan Brown next year.

Veterans Adam Blair and Gerard Beale were ushered into retirement, while fringe performers like Nathaniel Roche, Patrick Herbert, King Vuniyayawa, Taane Milne and Leivaha Pulu have also departed their ranks.

Burr's two-year contract had ended and he wasn't able to negotiate an extension, but he's found a soft landing at the Cowboys with a familiar face in charge.

"It doesn't look like I'll be staying at the Warriors," Burr admitted in August. "Ideally, I would have liked to have stayed, but I'm coming off contract, so I'll come back to Australia, which won't be the worst thing."

After Stephen Kearney's sacking as Warriors coach, Payten guided the undermanned and displaced team - against all odds - to the brink of playoffs, but turned down a full-time role to chase the head-coaching vacancy at North Queensland, where he had previously assisted.

"We're really excited to bring Lachlan to North Queensland," Payten says. "He's a big body, he's got a good motor and he's physical.

"On top of those on-field attributes, he's a dedicated professional and really good person."

Burr, 28, played 37 games for the Warriors, after previous NRL stints with Canterbury Bulldogs, Gold Coast Titans, and Leigh Centurions and Sheffield Eagles in England.

Centre Milne has landed at South Sydney, while promising forward Isaiah Papali'i has signed with Parramatta Eels.

Only 22, Papali'i debuted for the Warriors as an 18-year-old and compiled 63 games for the club.  

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