Warrriors coach Stephen Kearney has confirmed that the upcoming season will be Ryan Hoffman's last at Mt Smart.

Off the back of Hoffman's demotion from the captaincy - with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck announced as the new skipper on Wednesday - and the signing of Tohu Harris from Melbourne, Kearney confirmed that there will be no room for the former Kangaroo and NSW Origin player in 2018.

"It's difficult with the way that the salary cap is," Kearney told Radio Sport. "We won't be able to offer Ryan a contract in 2018."

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Harris will be a straight replacement for Hoffman next year, with Mannering expected to play at least two more seasons.


Kearney has a long relationship with Hoffman - they were teammates at the Storm in the early 2000s - with the Australian often rooming with the former Kiwi captain. So it wasn't easy to break the news to Hoffman, though Kearney was impressed with his professional response.

"I've known Ryan a long time and have the utmost respect for him," said Kearney. "In a tough time last year I thought - watching from afar - I thought he did a wonderful job. When I called Ryan into my office to tell him the news [about the captaincy] it was tough but it was an easier decision knowing how Ryan was going to take it. He's been wonderfully supportive of the decision and he can see why."

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Kearney added that he could relate to Hoffman's situation in the twilight of his career.

"I was in a very similar position when Craig [Bellamy] told me to move on from Melbourne [in 2004] and they were re-signing a young guy called Ryan Hoffman," said Kearney. "He's been around the business and knows what it is about."

Kearney was unsure if the 33-year-old Hoffman would retire at the end of this season.

"For me I think he has certainly got something to offer a football club out there," said Kearney. "[And this year ] his role in this team doesn't change and he is an integral part of the team."

Hoffman played 23 games last season, after 18 matches for the Warriors in his debut year. He averaged more than 100 running metres per game in 2016, as well as almost 22 tackles.