Commentary Box: Warriors star leaves club to play in Super League

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 18 Oct 2021, 10:10AM
David Fusitu'a. (Photo / Photosport)
David Fusitu'a. (Photo / Photosport)

Commentary Box: Warriors star leaves club to play in Super League

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 18 Oct 2021, 10:10AM

The once glorious then mysterious Warriors career of David Fusitu'a has come to an end. 

The giant wing - believed to be on a massive $650,000 a year contract - will head to English club Leeds, according to Stuff. 

The 27-year-old was a homegrown Warriors legend in the making but his career derailed at the very point it was ready to take off. 

Backline positional changes made by former coach Steve Kearney - including trying Fusitu'a as a centre - seemed to throw his career off kilter after his try scoring rampage in 2018. 

Fusitu'a was then among the small group of players who returned to Auckland early, when the Warriors were forced to camp in Australia last year because of Covid restrictions. 

And while travelling with the Nathan Brown-coached team he was mysteriously absent from the field for most of the 2021 season, as the club endured another horror NRL run while stranded in Australia. 

Kiwi-turned-Tongan international Fusitu'a, who was contracted to the Warriors until the end of 2023, had reportedly asked if he could talk to other clubs this year. 

He made his Warriors debut in 2014 and scored an impressive 61 tries in 108 games. He was also part of the club's former playing system, using big wings - particularly Manu Vatuvei, Ken Maumalo and Fusitu'a - to make a lot of territory. 

Superstar fullback and captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck quit the club for rugby this year and Maumalo headed to the Wests Tigers mid-season meaning the much vaunted back three unit has completely disappeared from Warriors colours. 

According to Stuff, the Warriors will continue to pay part of Fusitu'a's salary. Flying Fijian wing Junior Ratuva will be re-signed from the Redcliffe Dolphins as the Warriors search for a new wing star.