NZ Warriors have finally secured the signature of Te Maire Martin.
Newshub understands the Kiwis and Brisbane Broncos back has inked a three-year deal to join the NZ-based club, starting in 2023, after weeks of negotiations.
The 26-year-old had interest from several other NRL clubs but the appeal of moving back to his native New Zealand and reuniting with new head coach Andrew Webster - who he played under at age-group level with Wests Tigers - got the deal over the line.
Martin had been linked to the club as part of the deal that will see star fullback Reece Walsh return to Brisbane in 2023. While that never eventuated, it did secure the Warriors the right to be first bidders for his services. Martin was poised to become a free agent, with his contract with the Broncos expiring at the end of the 2022 season.
Alongside incoming Cronulla Sharks prospect Luke Metcalf, Martin will add more depth to the Warriors halves stocks, next to Shaun Johnson - his likely starting partner - and Ronald Volkman, softening the blow of Chanel Harris-Tavita's impending departure to take an indefinite break from rugby league.
The Waikato product has impressed in his return to the NRL this season with the Broncos, which has been one of the feel-good stories of the season.
In 2019, a brain bleed forced Martin to step away form the sport in 2019, leaving him fearing his burgeoning career may be cut cruelly short.
After receiving medical clearance, he returned to the field playing regional club rugby league in the Waikato competition, which led to an invite to join the Broncos' feeder club Wynum-Manly, and ultimately the first-grade Brisbane side.
His form was rewarded with a call-up to NZ Kiwis' squad for their one-off test against Tonga in June.
The Warriors will be Martin's fourth NRL club, after spending time with the Broncos, Penrith Panthers and North Queensland Cowboys, where he won an NRL Premiership next to legendary half Johnathan Thurston in 2017.
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