NRL 2021: Former NZ Kiwis captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak move to NZ Warriors confirmed

Former NZ Kiwis captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak will leave Canterbury Bulldogs to join NZ Warriors, effective immediately.

The mid-season transfer has been rumoured for a couple of weeks, but has finally been confirmed by Bulldogs management, with the NRL on a bye week for State of Origin II.

"Dallin has put in a massive effort while here at the Bulldogs and I know that everyone at the club would like to thank him for what he has given during his time at Belmore," says chief executive Aaron Warburton.

"He has now received an opportunity to join the Warriors and we can appreciate what that means to him as a proud New Zealander."

Watene-Zelezniak, 25, is the grandson of former Kiwis captain Steve Watene, and has played 143 NRL games for Penrith Panthers and the Bulldogs since 2014, scoring 49 tries.

He was selected for an international call-up as a teenager for the 2014 Four Nations, but was twice denied by a foot injury and suspension, then suffered a collapsed lung that delayed his Kiwis debut until 2016.

The winger/fullback was elevated to Kiwis captaincy in 2018, but missed their last series against Great Britain Lions the following year and now looms as a candidate to lead the Warriors, when current skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck switches to rugby later this year.

"It's great news for our club and a terrific signing having Dallin on board," says Warriors coach Nathan Brown. "He brings speed, leadership and experience into our young group, and will be a major help to our developing younger players.

"Dallin has some wonderful attributes, has a well-rounded game and is a great competitor. We look forward to him joining us for the back end of this season and three more seasons after that."

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