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Released Warrington Wolves man lands NRL contract

Warrington Wolves had a turbulent time with their forward pack last season, the likes of Gil Dudson and Josh McGuire picking up large bans, whilst Thomas Mikaele sought an early release on compassionate grounds.

Whilst Dudson returned from his ban after just five matches, McGuire picked up a second large ban resulting in his contract being terminated. It was at this time that Mikaele left the club creating a forward crisis for Wire.

Mikaele did return later in the season to boost the club for their play-off push however after crashing out to St Helens in the first post-season game, the prop left and returned home down under.

It’s now being reported by the Daily Telegraph that Mikaele is set to land a deal with North Queensland Cowboys, having attracted interest from a number of different clubs.

During his return stint in the NRL last season Mikaele played for Gold Coast Titans on just one occasion, before being re-signed to the Wolves just days after Daryl Powell’s departure.

Aged just 25 the former Wests Tigers man is aiming to kick on now that he is settled back down under with the Telegraph reporting that terms have been agreed with the Cowboys last week.

He’s set to link up the team soon in preparation for the 2024 campaign bolstering the depth of a forward pack that already includes Jason Taumalolo, Reece Robson, Reuben Cotter and Jeremiah Nanai.

Mikaele isn’t the only former Warrington man to have landed himself a deal down under with young English hooker Aiden Doolan having earned himself a trial-and-train deal with South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Doolan and Mikaele both were presented with their framed shirts at the Wire’s last home game in 2023 as their departures were confirmed, and now they could face each other in 2024.

The 20-year-old hooker has landed in the Bunnies setup following his release from the Halliwell Jones Stadium, and similar to fellow Wire youngster Riley Dean, has opted to make the move down under.

Whilst Dean has made the move to a Queensland Cup side in the form of Mackay Cutters, it seems Doolan is opting to try and forge a role within the NRL with the Bunnies.

The pair are just another example of young English talent departing the English game and heading down under, with Morgan Smithies being the latest major name to have agreed a deal having signed for Canberra Raiders where he’ll join recently retired England international Elliot Whitehead.

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