The Warriors’ 2018 forward pack is slowly taking shape, with impact prop Albert Vete reportedly agreeing to terms on an extension with the Auckland-based club.
According to the New Zealand Herald, Vete has agreed to extend his time with the Warriors for a further two years, keeping him at the club until the end of 2019.
Vete was in exceptional form during a five-week stretch in which the Warriors won 3 games, before breaking his arm almost a month ago. The Warriors have lost both their games since, underlying his value to the club.
Unfortunately, the future doesn’t look as bright for the union of the Warriors and long-serving forward Jacob Lillyman.
The same report states that after offering Lillyman a one-year deal two months ago, only to see him leave it on the table (figuratively, not literally), the Warriors have now withdrawn the offer, and appear ready to move on.
That won’t leave Lillyman without options for 2018 – the Roosters have reportedly made him an offer, and a move to the Super League is also a possibility. Despite being 33 years old, Lillyman is still playing decent footy, and previously stated that he intends to play on somewhere, and that he’s “not too fussed” where he ends up.
The report suggests that there’s “still a chance” he could remain in Auckland, however it appears that his time at the Warriors may be drawing to a close.
It’s no secret that the Warriors are keen to remodel their forward pack, having already added Titans prop Leivaha Pulu and Storm second-rower Tohu Harris for next year, as well as making unsuccessful bids for Storm giant Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Broncos prop Jo Ofahengaue. They’ve also been linked to Broncos forward Adam Blair, but he, too, is expected to remain in Brisbane.
Vete has played 44 matches for the Warriors, and 1 Test for Tonga.
Lillyman has played 246 matches for the Warriors and Cowboys, and 14 Origins for Queensland.