NRL: NZ Warriors rookie Demitric Sifakula earns promotion to fulltime contract

  • 16/02/2023
Demitric Sifakula in action against the Tigers.
Demitric Sifakula in action against the Tigers. Photo credit: Photosport

NZ Warriors have promoted highly-rated backrower Demitric Sifakula to their full-time NRL squad.

After joining the Warriors as a 15-year-old, Sifakula, now 18, has been upgraded from a development contract to a first-grade contract though until the end of the 2025 season.

The Otahuhu Leopards product impressed in the Warriors' 48-12 pre-season win over Wests Tigers last week, clocking up 107m from 10 carries and making 25 tackles to earn a call-up for his debut NRL campaign.

"Demitric might still be 18 but it was no surprise to us that he should look right at home playing alongside NRL players in the trial," said Warriors head coach Andrew Webster. 

"Everything we've seen of him has reinforced to us that he's a player who belongs at this level."

Sifakula's elevation comes days after fullback Taine Tuaupiki was offered a long-term first-grade deal, after joining the club on a train-and-trail contract.

The Aucklander juggled both union and league at De La Salle College, joining the Warriors as a 17-year-old.

He starred for feeder club Redcliffe in the Queensland Colts competition, before a shoulder injury halted his momentum.

Warriors general manager recruitment, development and pathways Andrew McFadden has high expectations for his latest acquisition.

"We're really excited about what the future holds for Demitric," said McFadden. "He's a player of special ability.

"He suffered a real setback when he needed shoulder surgery in 2021 but he proved how  dedicated and resilient he is with the way he came back last season. He has done all that has been asked of him to reach this point."

Sifakula has been named to the reserves bench for the Warriors next pre-season match against Melbourne Storm at Christchurch on Sunday.