Suffering Warriors' fans might be hanging out for the capture of a world-class player but there was some news of movement from the club with promising outside back Ngani Laumape one of five youngsters who have had their contracts upgraded for the 2014 season.
Laumape has been signed until the end of the 2015 season while Junior Warriors captain David Bhana, prop Albert Vete, second-rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner and hooker Siliva Havili will all join the 2014 NRL squad on one-year fulltime contracts.
Laumape and Havili, while still eligible for the under-20s side, started the 2013 season playing for the Auckland Vulcans in the NSW Cup with Laumape going up another level by making his NRL debut against Cronulla in March when still 19. He strung together a sequence of five appearances for the top side and has been named on an extended interchange bench for Sunday's match with Newcastle Mt Smart Stadium.
Loose forward Bhana, Vete and Faitala-Mariner have been key contributors in the club's NYC team now running fifth in the competition after beating top of the table Penrith 38-32 last Saturday night.
"There are further opportunities for other NYC players to gain NRL contracts but we're really pleased with the way all five of these players are progressing and wanted to give them a clear signal of where they figure in our plans,'' said Warriors general manager football operations Dean Bell.
"We see them making further progress next year as they strive to succeed in the NRL.
"We've already seen how many of our players have benefited from the change [coach] Matt [Elliott] has brought to the way we develop our players, especially with Ngani and Siliva being moved up a level to play for the Vulcans and Ngani then going on to make his NRL debut.''