David Skipwith is the Herald's rugby league reporter

League: New Zealand Warriors deny Tui Lolohea an immediate release

Tuimoala Lolohea of the Warriors. Photo / Getty
Tuimoala Lolohea of the Warriors. Photo / Getty

The Warriors have denied Tui Lolohea's request for an immediate release with the club insisting he remain in Auckland, at least in the short-term.

Lolohea's player agent Stan Martin today met with Warriors managing director Jim Doyle and recruitment and development manager Tony Iro seeking a release from his contract which expires at the end of next season.

It's understood the 22-year-old utility is keen to move to Sydney midseason to join Wests Tigers, having also attracted interest from Canberra, North Queensland and Newcastle.

He was recently granted permission to talk to rival NRL clubs but the Warriors are not ready to say goodbye to him just yet.

Coach Stephen Kearney believes he could be of value to the side in the coming weeks and at the club is unwilling to part ways with the dual Tongan and Kiwis international until they have appropriate cover.

"He's contracted with us until the end of 2018 and until we're ready and found a suitable replacement he will remain with the Warriors," said Iro.

Lolohea played on the wing for the Warriors through the first three rounds of the season but has grown frustrated after spending the past six weeks languishing in reserve grade.

- NZ Herald

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