27 Jul 2015

Warriors centre signs with Hurricanes

12:26 pm on 27 July 2015

The Warriors rugby league centre Ngani Laumape is switching back to rugby union having signed with the Hurricanes on a two-year deal.

Before joining the Warriors in 2013, where he was named Rookie of the Year, Laumape played in the New Zealand and Hurricanes Secondary Schools teams in 2011.

The 22-year-old Laumape said despite enjoyng his time within the Warriors set-up, he was look foward to returning to rugby union.

"I've been dreaming of coming back home to play rugby so it's really exciting that it's finally happening.

"I was able to add extra dimensions to my skill-set (with the Warriors) and it was a great set-up to be in, but this is something I've always had in the back of my mind."

Having played previously with the likes of Ardie Savea, Nehe Milner-Skudder and Otere Black, Laumape should fit in with the Hurricanes.

Warriors centre Ngani Laumape has signed with the Hurricanes for the 2016 Super rugby season.

Warriors centre Ngani Laumape has signed with the Hurricanes for the 2016 Super rugby season. Photo: Photosport

"I've been watching the Hurricanes play every Friday or Saturday night since I left for league, so I've always kept that connection and interest in the team. Honestly, to be able to come to Wellington and reconnect with some of the boys is just going to be awesome," he said.

Hurricanes high performance manager Chris Stirling said the club had worked very hard along with the Manawatu Rugby Union to bring the talented sportsman home on a two-year deal.

"His initial development took place within the Hurricanes environment so it's fantastic for us to be able to bring one of our own back home."

Stirling said having been a professional athlete for four years, Laumape would bring a lot of experience which would be great for the Hurricanes coaches and players to work with.

"Ngani's an explosive and powerful midfielder who understands the game very well, so trying to integrate him won't be an issue.

"He also knows a lot of the boys already and gets on with them very well, so it's been a fantastic fit all round. We're really looking forward to having him with us."

Laumape will also turn out for Manawatu in next year's provincial competition, the ITM Cup.

Having been side-lined with a knee injury during this year's NRL season, Laumape will continue to focus on his recovery ahead of the Hurricanes pre-season later this year.