NRL: Hooker set to leave Warriors

By Michael Brown

Nathan Friend. Photo / Getty Images
Nathan Friend. Photo / Getty Images

Hooker Nathan Friend looks set to leave the Warriors at the end of the season as the picture around halves and hookers becomes increasingly congested.

The 32-year-old has been a fixture at Mt Smart Stadium for the past 18 months but is off contract at the end of 2013.

The club have been in talks about his future and it appears he has been told they won't be offering him a new deal.

"I maybe looking for a new home in 2014," Friend tweeted last night, which came two days after telling his followers he was due to find out his fate from the club.

The Warriors are on the verge of signing Cronulla five-eighth Chad Townsend for 2014 and they already have Shaun Johnson, Thomas Leuluai and Harry Siejka on their books.

It's expected Leuluai will move to hooker next season and Friend's departure would free up some room in the salary cap for the club to sign England fullback Sam Tomkins.

The Warriors are reportedly taking up an option to retain Pita Godinet next season but Alehana Mara is expected leave.

Friend is a hard-working player who has averaged 43 tackles a game this season. He's played 161 NRL games since his debut for Brisbane in 2002 but has had issues with his shoulders over the past couple of seasons.

- APNZ

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