NRL: Addin Fonua-Blake begins meetings with rival clubs over release from NZ Warriors contract in 2025

Addin Fonua-Blake has begun meeting with rival NRL clubs, as the front-rower seeks an early release from his NZ Warriors contract as early as 2025. 

Newshub understands the 28-year-old prop has met Wests Tigers, and was pictured by Sydney Morning Herald also meeting with Canterbury Bulldogs.

The Warriors declined to comment when approached by Newshub regarding Fonua-Blake's meetings with other teams.

Fonua-Blake rocked the Warriors earlier this month, declaring his desire to return to Sydney on compassionate grounds to be closer to family with two years still remaining on his contract.

Addin Fonua-Blake.
Addin Fonua-Blake. Photo credit: Photosport

The prop's current contract runs through until the end of 2026, while the Warriors have reportedly set terms that would only allow for an early release to join a Sydney-based club.

Fonua-Blake has committed to remain at the Warriors for 2024, but what happens after this season is still unknown. 

St George Illawarra Dragons are known admirers of Fonua-Blake, as new coach Shane Flanagan reportedly recruited his team's Tongan contignent to try to convince the Warriors forward to sign while on international duty earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Bulldogs general manager of football Phil Gould publicly stated his admiration for Fonua-Blake.

The biggest stumbling block for a rival side to lure Fonua-Blake appears to be his salary, with the front rower currently the highest paid prop in the NRL.

Salary demands are understood to have already deterred Sydney Roosters, Penrith Panthers and Parramatta Eels from entering the race to sign Fonua-Blake, who earns more than $1 million per season.

As part of the terms of a potential release, the Warriors are reportedly also demanding a player in exchange for Fonua-Blake.