12 Apr 2011

Hohaia to leave Warriors

5:23 pm on 12 April 2011

The Warriors and Kiwis star Lance Hohaia has signed a four-year deal with English Super League club St Helens.

The 28-year-old's in his 10th year with the Warriors, only the third player behind Stacey Jones and Awen Guttenbeil to see out a decade at the club.

The Warriors had an option to sign Hohaia for another year but chief executive Wayne Scurrah says it was too early to decide whether to keep him and Hohaia had asked to pursue other options, and when the offer from the Merseyside giants came through, Hohaia decided to move along after seeing out this NRL season rather than wait for the Auckland club to make up their mind.

Hohaia isn't sure if he would've taken the deal with St Helens if the Warriors had come through with a concrete offer, but he is sure they couldn't have matched Saints' offer for the security it offers him at this stage of his career, and it was simply too good an offer to turn down.

The versatile Huntly product signed his new deal the same week he was dumped from the first grade side, but says that didn't influenced him, and neither did the fact young utility Glen Fisiiahi has signed his own new four-year deal with the Warriors.

Hohaia says he will still be available for the Kiwis and hopes it may even help his international career, with the Four Nations competition taking place in England and Wales later this year and the 14th rugby league World Cup also in the UK in 2013.

Hohaia will play halfback at Saints, which was his position growing up in Huntly and when he joined the Warriors, though he's now settled on fullback at NRL and international level.