Tohu Harris is being lined up as the new Warriors captain, allied to a long term deal that will probably see him finish his career at the Auckland club.
That's the indication from a report which says Harris will benefit from the departure of the highly paid Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to rugby union next year.
Tuivasa-Sheck's decision to pursue his rugby dream is a performance and PR disaster for the Warriors. Along with the likes of Simon Mannering and Stacey Jones, he is in a very small band of elite players to have made a special mark at a wobbly club.
And it remains to be seen what effect his impending shift away has on their 2021 bid to make the NRL playoffs, despite all the efforts to brush the significance of his league snub away.
But Tuivasa-Sheck's farewell will allow the Warriors to re-balance their salary distribution. The timing looks perfect for Harris, the club's 2020 player of the year, to negotiate an extension up to 2024.
NRL.com said talks between the player and club were apparently progressing well, with a three-year offer on the table.
Harris made a highly successful switch from the edge to a middle forward last year, as the game sped up under the tweaks introduced by dynamic NRL boss Peter V'landys during the first lockdown.
The 29-year-old Harris "shapes as the likely captaincy replacement for Tuivasa-Sheck" from next year, according to NRL.com.
Meanwhile Tuivasa-Sheck, who is on about $1m a year, said it was "tough to tell the boys" about his move to rugby next year.
"It's my last time with the club and these players," Tuivasa-Sheck said.
"But I'm excited for it. There's nothing extra that I need to do or want to do.
"I've just got to go out there and put my best foot forward for the boys to follow."
The Warriors play the Titans in a trial at Lismore in north eastern NSW on Saturday. Under the new feeder club partnership, those missing the 24-man squad will play for Brisbane club Redcliffe this weekend.