Warriors icon Manu Vatuvei is weighing up his options and considering making a shock early exit from the club at the end of the NRL season.

Vatuvei is contracted to the Warriors until the end of next season but may request a release to explore new opportunities in the twilight of his career.

The 31-year-old is concerned about his body lasting the distance after battling shoulder, rib, hamstring and knee injuries over the past three seasons.

Vatuvei's manager Peter Brown confirmed a once unthinkable move to a new NRL club is an option for his client, with the UK Super League, or a cross-code switch to rugby in either the northern hemisphere or Japan among other possibilities if the Warriors do decide to let him go.


The Warriors are open to discussing options around his contract that could help ease the strain on the club's salary cap, while both parties have previously discussed him moving into an off-field role once he does eventually decide to hang the boots up.

"All of those options are available," said Brown. "I don't think (the Warriors) would stop him if he wanted to move. He's got to make his mind up about whether he wants to hang around here or explore options overseas.

"There's been some interest (from overseas) but it's not about that - it's about him deciding whether he wants to go offshore. I've just left it with him. That's something he needs to decide himself with his family."

Vatuvei has played 226 games for the Warriors throughout a grueling 14-year career since debuting in 2004. He played only 15 games last year while a recurring knee injury has limited him to just one NRL appearance this season.

The 28-test Kiwis international lasted only 53 minutes in the round three clash against the Bulldogs and was sidelined for five weeks before making a return in reserve grade two weeks ago.

Despite a lack of game time he won selection for a debut test outing for Tonga last Saturday, scoring an early try and making 189 running metres to help them claim a 26-24 win over Fiji at Campbelltown Stadium.

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney has named him in the extended reserves for Saturday's away game against Penrith, but with Ken Maumalo and David Fusitu'a in the starting side and one-game rookie Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad also in the squad, he faces a battle to win back his favoured left wing spot.

"We've just got to see how he plays out the rest of the year but injuries are a big concern for him," said Warriors recruitment manager Tony Iro. "He's done a great service to this club but the way he plays is tough.

"He's a big body that's charged into brick walls 3000 times in his career but he's pretty resilient. And he doesn't have one or two blokes tackling him every time he carries the ball, he's got three or four, so he's got to look after himself and manage himself.

"And when you get to that age, from one month to the next you can have really different opinions on how you think you're going or how long you think you can last.

"He's still working hard and in the frame so he's working himself back so basically it's going to be up to him."