NRL: Rapira signs for Salford

Steve Rapira had hoped to make a big impact with the Warriors but the utility will now attempt to do that with Salford. Photo / Getty Images.
Steve Rapira had hoped to make a big impact with the Warriors but the utility will now attempt to do that with Salford. Photo / Getty Images.

Steve Rapira had hoped to make a big impact with the Warriors but the utility will now attempt to do that with Salford after signing a two-year deal with the UK Super League outfit.

Things haven't worked out as well as Rapira had planned with the Warriors and he's made just 14 appearances in three seasons with the club. This year he nearly had his ear ripped off playing against the Sharks and soon after his return his season was ended by a serious knee injury.

"That's football,'' said Rapira, who has played a total of 40 NRL games since his first-grade debut for the Cowboys in 2009. ``That's the way it works out sometimes.

"While I haven't played as much football as I would have liked here, I love it at this club. It's been a great experience but now I'm looking forward to testing myself in England, getting myself right and playing football again.''

Rapira at least achieved an ambition to play an NRL match alongside older brother Sam. Sam was in the starting line-up and Steve was on the bench for the season-opening encounter with Parramatta and the following week they both started in the first home game of the year against the Roosters at Eden Park.

With his 2013 campaign ruined, Steve Rapira immersed himself in the club's community work with a strong focus on the club's Breakfast Warriors initiative. It earned him a nomination for the NRL's prestigious Ken Stephen Medal, awarded annually to the player judged to have made the most outstanding contribution to the community.

"Steve has been a model professional throughout,'' Warriors general manager football operations Dean Bell said. "The bad luck he has had with injuries has been unbelievable but he has still had a fantastic attitude despite spending so long on the sideline.

"We would have loved things to turn out a lot better for Steve and wish him and his family all the best in England.''

- APNZ

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