Michael Burgess is a sports writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Warriors re-sign former Manly forward

Ligi Sao in action for the Warriors. Photosport
Ligi Sao in action for the Warriors. Photosport

The Warriors pack for 2018 is beginning to take shape, with the re-signing of prop Ligi Sao.

Sao has signed a new two year deal, extending his time at Mt Smart until the end of the 2019 season.

Sao has made seven appearances so far this year and has become a key member of Stephen Kearney's team.

Injury ruined his 2016 season - he was restricted to just two games last year - but he has begun to show glimpses of his Manly form this season.

Sao's new contract follows a new deal for James Gavet, as well as the signings of Tohu Harris and Leivaha Pulu.

The club is also expected to table a new offer for Jacob Lillyman, though the future of fellow props Charlie Gubb and Albert Vete remain uncertain.

The 24-year-old Sao was a Warriors junior, but was unwanted at Mt Smart after the 2012 NYC season.

He joined the Manly Sea Eagles, following fellow former Warriors Peta Hiku to the north Sydney club.

After making his first grade debut in 2013, Sao's breakthrough came the following season, when he played 20 matches under Geoff Toovey.

The 1.87m, 110kg Sao came into the team in round four this year and has been an ever-present since then.

He's not the biggest forward, nor the strongest, but coach Stephen Kearney values his work ethic.

The former Manurewa Marlins junior also brings some added mongrel to the Warriors forwards, with his uncompromising approach.

- NZ Herald

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