Seasoned standoff Blake Green has been secured by the New Zealand Warriors on a three-year contract.
Signed until the end of the 2020 NRL season, the 31-year-old is moving to Auckland after helping the Manly Sea Eagles surge to sixth this season from 13th in 2016.
He’s the Warriors’ eighth new signing after Tohu Harris (Melbourne), Leivaha Pulu (Gold Coast), Gerard Beale (Cronulla), Adam Blair (Brisbane), Peta Hiku (Warrington), Matiu Love-Henry (Brisbane) and Agnatius Paasi (Gold Coast).
“We’re delighted we’ve been able to sign a player of Blake’s calibre,” said Warriors CEO Cameron George.
“He wasn’t off-contract but became available through circumstances. It couldn’t have worked out better for us. He’s a terrific player and his experience in winning titles and playing so much finals football will be of huge benefit to us.
“His presence will add both depth and intense competition among the halves, which is exactly what we’re after. On top of that his background at a number of clubs in the NRL and Super League makes him an ideal mentor for our young halves.”
The Warriors will become Green’s sixth NRL club and his eighth in all counting Hull Kingston Rovers and Wigan.
He began his first-grade career with Parramatta in 2007 before establishing himself with Canterbury-Bankstown in 2010 following just 19 games in two seasons with Cronulla in 2008 and 2009; he had his first taste of finals football with the Sharks in 2008 and has now appeared in a total of eight NRL finals matches plus Super League play-offs and two Old Trafford grand finals as well as the Challenge Cup final at Wembley.
His one-season stint with the Sea Eagles in 2017 followed two with Melbourne when he played in the 2016 grand final and was in the Storm side stopped one win short of the decider in 2015 by eventual premier North Queensland.
Green spent four seasons in the English Super League with Hull Kingston Rovers and the Wigan Warriors from 2011-2014, savouring the Challenge Cup-Super League grand final double with Wigan in 2013. He won the Harry Sutherland Trophy as man of the match in the Super League decider at Old Trafford while he was in the grand final again in 2014 when Wigan lost to St Helens.
Green has played a combined total of more than 200 top-grade games in the NRL and the Super League.