Warriors halfback Kodi Nikorima is on the move to Souths.
The Warriors have offset the loss of Kodi Nikorima to the South Sydney Rabbitohs by adding just-signed Sydney Roosters halfback Ronald Volkman to their squad.
Roosters hooker Freddy Lussick will also join the Warriors with immediate effect.
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The 19-year-old Volkman’s three-year contract from 2023 through to 2025 was announced last week, but he will now link up with the Warriors early. Teammate Lussick, 21, has been secured on a contract to the end of 2022 campaign.
Both players join the Warriors in Redcliffe on Monday.
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“We were keen to have Ronald onboard for the rest of this season rather than waiting for 2023. It’s beneficial for him and for us to have him settled into the club sooner rather than later.” Warriors general football manager Craig Hodges said.
“And Freddy brings NRL experience out of the Roosters’ system to add more support in the dummy half ranks to Wayde Egan and Taniela Otukolo.”
Lussick made his NRL debut with the Roosters in 2020 while he was loaned to the St George Illawarra Dragons for two games last year. He’s the youngest of three brothers to fashion NRL careers.
Along with Volkman he has played for the Roosters’ feeder club the North Sydney Bears in the New South Wales Cup. He also played at under-18 and under-20 level for the Roosters.
Meanwhile, the Warriors confirmed Monday they had granted Nikorima, 28, an immediate release from his contract, as predicted by Stuff last week.
Nikorima was signed to the end of this season, and his release frees up the Warriors’ salary cap for next year.
“We were committed to having Kodi for the rest of the year but he and his management requested an immediate release,” Hodges said. “He wanted to take up an offer elsewhere. Given the circumstances we weren’t going to stand in his way.”
Nikorima joined the Warriors in May 2019 after 86 appearances for the Brisbane Broncos. He played 59 times for the Warriors.
Souths confirmed Kiwis test representative Nikorima would have an option for 2023 as he shifted back across the Tasman.
“Kodi has been a strong performer at NRL and international level for a number of seasons now, across many positions including all of the key spine positions,” Rabbitohs head of football Mark Ellison said.
“He will add depth to our side across many faces of the game and we feel he can bring another dimension to our attack as well as strength to our defense when he is on the field.
“His experience will also be valuable to many of the young players we have in our squad.”
Nikorima started the season as the Warriors’ preferred halves partner with Shaun Johnson, but it didn’t take long for him to lose his place to Chanel Harris-Tavita.
Nikorima’s departure leaves the Warriors short in the halves for a few weeks, until Harris-Tavita has recovered from a ruptured testicle.