NRL 2021: Ken Maumalo granted immediate release from NZ Warriors, signs for Wests Tigers

Ken Maumalo will leave NZ Warriors, having been granted an early release by the Kiwi club.

Maumalo, 26, will join Wests Tigers and work under Kiwis coach Michael Maguire immediately, and won't see out the final year of his contract in Auckland.

"Ken had an opportunity to secure a long-term future for himself and his family beyond next season but we couldn't offer anything further at this stage," chief executive Cameron George says.

"He has made a huge contribution to the Vodafone Warriors and we wish him and his family all the best for the future."

While the Warriors did not confirm Maumalo's next club, the NRL's website have confirmed that the Kiwis international winger will join Maguire and the Tigers.

Maumalo has played 105 matches for the Warriors, scoring 41 tries, but has lost his spot as the side's starting winger in recent weeks.

Warriors assistant coach Justin Morgan paid tribute to Maumalo and credited his personality both on and off the field. 

"Ken is a champion bloke and anybody that has played with him, coached him or been part of his football career will say how nice a guy he is and that's not touching on how good a player he is," Morgan says."He's been a great player for this club for many years and the way he handles himself on and off the field is a credit to him.

"He always puts the team first, even over the past few weeks when he hasn't been playing, he's been in for team meetings giving advice to the younger players and his attitude has been first class."

Despite his poor run of form in 2021 though, Maumalo has scored five tries in 10 games, including a hat-trick in the Anzac Day defeat to Melbourne Storm.

Maumalo hasn't featured for the Warriors since the Magic Round 34-18 defeat to Parramatta Eels on May 16.

Youngster Edward Kosi, 22, has been selected in the No.5 jersey for the Warriors to face Melbourne Storm on Sunday, while Maumalo has been named on the extended bench.

Join Newshub for live updates of the Warriors v Storm clash from 4pm Sunday.