Out of favour Warrior Tui Lolohea is set to meet with Tigers coach Ivan Cleary this week, as the race for his signature hots up.

Lolohea is contracted to the Warriors until the end of the 2018 season, but the Auckland club has granted the 22-year-old permission to talk to other clubs.

It's understood that several clubs would like to gain Lolohea's services as early as this season, and the Warriors may be prepared to consider an immediate release.

The Tigers appear to be favourites for his signature. Lolohea has family in Sydney and the attraction of playing alongside Ben Matulino next year would probably appeal.


It's believed that Cleary and Lolohea will meet this week.

It's convenient timing, as the Tongan team have their training base in Campbelltown, which doubles as the Tigers headquarters.

Australian sources have indicated that the Tigers see Lolohea as a possible replacement for James Tedesco next year, but he could conceivably wear the No 6 jersey this season if Mitchell Moses is allowed to depart for Parramatta.

But the Tigers are not the only ones in the hunt for Lolohea.

The Cowboys are also potential suitors, and the possibility of playing behind their impressive forward pack would be a good incentive.

North Queensland also have a proven record of success, and are a stable operation off the field though their halves (Johnathan Thurston and Michael Morgan) and fullback (Lachlan Coote) are locked in for 2018.

The Raiders also loom as a destination for Lolohea.

Coach Ricky Stuart has a high opinion of the Tongan international, especially given his ability to play in every position across the backline.

If Lolohea wanted to shift clubs this season - and the Warriors are prepared to release him - a move would need to be completed before the June 30 deadline.

A prompt departure seems to be a logical decision, to commence a new career offshore.

He was the first choice right winger at Mt Smart at the start of this season, playing there in the first two games against the Knights and Storm.

Lolohea filled in at fullback against the Bulldogs, when Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was ruled out with concussion, before appearing at five eighth against the Dragons in round four, after Kieran Foran was scratched during the warm-up.

He hasn't been sighted in first grade at the Warriors since.

Lolohea appears to be well down the pecking order at Mt Smart, and like Konrad Hurrell last year, needs to leave New Zealand to both find himself and fulfil his potential.