NRL 2021: NZ Warriors forced Ken Maumalo out of the club, says winger's management

Ken Maumalo never wanted to leave NZ Warriors, according to his management, after the winger was granted a release to join Wests Tigers.

Maumalo, 26, played his final game in a Warriors jersey on Sunday, scoring a hat-trick in the 42-16 defeat to Melbourne Storm, before linking up with the Tigers and NZ Kiwis coach Michael Maguire.

The former Warriors junior's emotion was clear to see, as he broke down at fulltime, which his management cites as evidence that Maumalo has been forced out of the Auckland club.

"I was disappointed with how the club framed it," Maumalo's manager Stan Martin has told Newshub.

"They said Ken asked for a release - that's not how it happened.  

"He didn't want to leave. I was told Ken wouldn't be there next year, so we went and found a club and then asked for a release. 

"He was forced out."

Despite not wanting to leave the Warriors, Maumalo's management adds the winger is relishing his new challenge with the Tigers.

Maumalo's departure comes with more than a year remaining on his Warriors contract, and he finishes up at the club after 106 games and 44 tries.

The Kiwis and former Samoa international will link up with the Tigers immediately, reuniting with coach Maguire, whom he's played under at test level.

Maumalo could feature in the Tigers' round 15 clash - also against Melbourne Storm - with team lists to be announced on Tuesday.