New Zealand Warriors, under the guidance of former Hull KR assistant Andrew Webster and his assistant and ex-Leeds Rhinos boss Richard Agar, have made a surprising decision to release two of their players ahead of the NRL season opening up two positions for them to fill in the all important top 30.
The club released the following statement: “NRL squad members Taniela Otukolo and Otukinekina Kepu have today been released by the One New Zealand Warriors.
“Hooker Otukolo (20) was off contract at the end of this season while prop Kepu (20) was signed until the end of the 2024 season.”
“We appreciate their contribution during their time with us and wish them all the best for the future,” added One New Zealand Warriors general manager recruitment, development and pathways Andrew McFadden.
While the club was based in Australia both players appeared for feeder club Redcliffe in the Queensland Cup and colts competitions.
Otukolo players hooker whilst Kepu is a prop by trade.
It will be interesting to see if either young man is picked up by another NRL side or if the likes of Catalans Dragons, Salford Red Devils or Leigh Leopards use their quota spots to bring in one of the pair.