NZ Warriors have signed promising forward Aaron Pene on a two-year deal from 2022.
The 1.90m, 107kg 25-year-old of Samoan descent joins the club from Melbourne Storm, where he's been part of the game day squad for the past three rounds.
"Aaron has been in a great system for the last couple of years so he'll bring some good experience from a top team to our club," says Warriors coach Nathan Brown.
"He's got great leg speed and power and he's now getting an opportunity to establish himself in Melbourne's NRL squad this season. The modern game suits Aaron down to the ground."
Described as a "late bloomer", Pene made his first-grade debut last year, after coming through the ranks at Parramatta Eels, before a brief stint at Penrith Panthers.
In 2019, Pene signed on with the Storm, turning down an offer from the Warriors.
"It's a case of second time lucky for us with Aaron," says Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan.
"He’s been a standout in the Intrust Super Cup and we look forward to seeing him progress to the NRL on a permanent basis.
"He possesses all the tools to be an extremely valuable player in the NRL and comes from a great system."
Pene has impressed in limited minutes this season for the Storm, racking up 128 metres from 11 runs with five tackle breaks in just 33 minutes during the win over Brisbane Broncos in round 12.
The Warriors and their fans will have a chance to assess the new addition, when they take on the Storm in Gosford on Sunday.
Join us at 4pm, Sunday for live updates of the NRL clash between NZ Warriors and Melbourne Storm