The Warriors are expected to release front-rower Suaia Matagi in the coming days to join a Sydney NRL team.

Matagi is contracted through to the end of the season but after playing in each of the Warriors' 24 games last season has made only one brief NRL appearance back in round one this year.

With Kiwis test prop Ben Matulino and Queensland Origin rep Jacob Lillyman the preferred starting pair and emerging duo Sam Lisone and Albert Vete commanding regular bench spots, Matagi has had limited opportunities to impress.

It's understood several Super League clubs were keen on signing the powerful ball-runner but he wants to remain in the NRL.


The 27-year-old would leave the Warriors as a fan favourite after overcoming a stint in Manawatu prison to successfully rebuild his life.

After starting out on the Auckland club circuit with the Te Atatu Roosters and Mount Albert Lions his good form was recognised with a spot in the Auckland representative team in 2009.

He went on to be join the Auckland Vulcans the following season and was a leading performer despite being able to play only domestically until the end of the 2012 season due to travel restrictions.

Matagi continued his progress with the Warriors before making his NRL debut against the Bulldogs in Wellington in round nine of the 2013 season.

He made 11 appearances that year before representing Toa Samoa at the 2013 World Cup and was chosen to represent the Kiwis at the 2014 Four Nations.