David Skipwith is the Herald's rugby league reporter

NRL: Warriors sign Solomone Kata through to end of 2019

Solomone Kata has extended his contract with the Warriors through to the end of the 2019 NRL season. Photo/Getty.
Solomone Kata has extended his contract with the Warriors through to the end of the 2019 NRL season. Photo/Getty.

The Warriors have continued to secure their young talent with outstanding centre Solomone Kata's contract extended to the end of the 2019 NRL season.

The 21-year-old Tongan international has missed just one of a possible 38 matches since making his first-grade debut against Newcastle in the opening round of last season.

Kata has 22 tries from 37 games, and was the Warriors top try-scorer in 2015 after crossing the chalk on 12 occasions, and he leads the way again this season with 10 four-pointers from 13 matches.

Kata's contract extension comes after The Herald reported on Wednesday that wing Ken Maumalo would remain at the Warriors until at least the end of 2018, and the club has also announced deals for five of their other most promising young players.

Rookie hooker Jazz Tevaga (20) has also been re-signed to the end of 2018, while 2015 NYC player of the year Bunty Afoa (19) has been secured to the end of 2019.

Junior Warriors utility Erin Clark (18) and back-rower Ofahiki Ogden (20), who have both been given time in reserve grade this season, have deals to the end of next season while prop Patrick Sipley (24), older brother of rookie NRL front-rower Toafofoa, also has a one-year deal.

Sipley was introduced to the Intrust Super Premiership side last season and has again been used by coach Stacey Jones this year.

"Sol has made fantastic progress jumping straight from the NYC into the NRL last year," explained Warriors recruitment and development manager Tony Iro.

"He has proved to be not only one of the game's most damaging centres but also one of the most consistent. The NRL coaching staff are hugely impressed with him.

"We've moved to secure him long-term and we're also delighted with the way Ken, Jazz, Bunty, Erin and Pat are developing.

"It's especially pleasing for us seeing Sol, Ken, Jazz, Bunty and Erin come through our NYC side while Pat shows there's a pathway from local football as well."

Kata, Maumalo, Tevaga and Afoa were all in the club's NYC premiership-winning side in 2014.

Kata made 34 consecutive NRL appearances following his debut before his run was broken by a one-match suspension last month.

Maumalo played eight NRL games last season, but was confined to reserve grade until earning a recall for last week's 12-10 win over the Sydney Roosters, as a replacement for the injured Manu Vatuvei.

The Papatoetoe junior will again line up on the left-wing in tomorrow's clash against competition leaders Cronulla at Southern Cross Group Stadium.

Tevaga made the first of his six NRL appearances this season in the round three defeat to Melbourne, and has earned a reputation as a rugged defender also capable of playing in the back-row.

Afoa has played more than 50 NYC games, and after making his ISP debut last season, returned to the side for last week's 38-6 loss to Newtown.

This weekend Clark again starts at loose forward for the NYC side against Cronulla, while Sipley will come off the interchange bench in Saturday's ISP clash against North Sydney at Mt Smart Stadium No2 field.

Warriors shore up young talent

Solomone Kata
Centre, 21-years-old, re-signed to end of 2019

Ken Maumalo
Wing, 21-years-old, re-signed to end of 2018

Jazz Tevaga
Hooker, 20-years-old, re-signed to end of 2018

Bunty Afoa
Prop, 19-years-old, re-signed to end of 2019

Erin Clark
Utility, 18-years-old, re-signed to end of 2017

Ofahiki Ogden
Back-rower, 20-years-old, re-signed to end of 2017

Patrick Sipley
Prop, 24-years-old, re-signed to end of 2017

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