The NZ Warriors have hosed down talk of off-contract Wests Tigers prop Aaron Woods coming to Mt Smart Stadium next season.

Woods, the Tigers skipper and representative prop, has held off extending his stay with the embattled Sydney club, while they sort out the coaching role in the wake of Jason Taylor's sacking.

Reports in Sydney suggested the Warriors might have been interested in acquiring Woods' services and have even mentioned the idea of injured Kiwis prop Ben Matulino heading to the Tigers to replace him, should former Warriors coach Ivan Cleary take over as coach.

But Warriors recruitment and development manager Tony Iro insists the club is not actively pursuing Woods, while they want to reach a new agreement with Matulino for 2018 and beyond.


"They are two quality players, still unsigned for next season, and I suppose people have put two and two together, and come up with five," Iro told

"I know Ivan has a high opinion of Ben and Aaron Woods is a quality prop I think most clubs would be interested in, but there has been no discussion on our part about that event happening."

The Warriors were in the market for Kiwi big men Jesse Bromwich and Jason Taumalolo, before they extended their deals with the Storm and Cowboys respectively. While Woods certain ticks the box in terms of quality go-forward, the Warriors have not engaged in any discussion with the 26-year-old.

"Obviously, the Tigers have got their roster to sort out with a number of players and we are the same, but Aaron is one that we have not expressed an interest in," Iro said.

"We have got priorities in terms of our roster. Aaron Woods is not going to come cheap and the salary cap is the biggest consideration, so at this stage, probably not."

Iro admits the club is wanting to sign another big man, but points to off-contract Kiwi Matulino as a priority.

The 28-year-old Matulino is closing in on 200 NRL games with the Warriors and has already chalked up 23 tests with the Kiwis, but has not taken the field so far in 2017, after off-season knee surgery and an infection during his recovery.

The Warriors want to extend his stay and are looking forward to getting him back on the park in the coming weeks.


"We are in discussions with Ben and we would like him to stay - that is where our conversations are at in terms of a big man at the moment," Iro said.

"The physio reports change every week, depending on how his rehab goes, so it's probably anywhere between two and four weeks.

"He would like to be on the field and would like to contribute, and we are keen to get him back on the park as soon as possible."