Michael Burgess is the football and rugby league writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Tui Lolohea's Warriors future in the balance following Kieran Foran signing

Tui Lolohea scores a try for the Warriors. Photo / Photosport
Tui Lolohea scores a try for the Warriors. Photo / Photosport

Tui Lolohea will assess his future at the Warriors over the coming weeks, after the signing of Kieran Foran last night.

He'll meet with his management team in the next few days, before discussing his options with the club.

Lolohea is signed up for the next two years at Mt Smart, after agreeing to a contract extension midway through 2015.

The club has previously indicated they would not be willing to release Lolohea early from that contract, and it's understood their position currently remains the same.

But new coach Stephen Kearney is the key, and is expected to have discussions with Lolohea soon about where he fits into his plans for 2017 and beyond.

Lolohea was in the spotlight for much of the past season, as he was rotated between positions and moved in and out of the team by former head coach Andrew McFadden.

His situation stirred up plenty of speculation, with constant talk that several clubs across the Tasman were lining up to take Lolohea.

But the 21-year has never really had a desire to leave Mt Smart. He's happy in Auckland, living with his family and playing for his hometown club and he has shown admirable patience over the last two seasons, in the face of some confusing and inconsistent selection decisions.

But there is no doubt that the arrival of Foran has changed the equation.

Five eight is Lolohea's preferred position but now the No6 jersey seems again out of his reach.

Instead of battling for Ata Hingano for a place alongside Shaun Johnson, the two youngsters will both be in the queue behind Foran for a halves spot.

It doesn't mean that Lolohea won't stay at Mt Smart, but he will need some clarification on his future from Kearney and the club hierarchy.

Is he seen as a genuine option at centre? Could he be a starting winger? Is he the No1 deputy for both Johnson and Foran? Or does Kearney see him as a bench player, given his ability to cover several positions?

Whatever unfolds, Lolohea won't want a repeat of this season, where he lost confidence after being constantly shuffled around the team.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 05 Dec 2016 18:17:38 Processing Time: 604ms