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Warrington Wolves star joins NRL club ahead of 2024 campaign

Sam Kasiano has left Warrington Wolves

Warrington Wolves forward Thomas Mikaele has left the club for the second time in 2023 this time to join North Queensland Cowboys.

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys have agreed to a one-year Development List contract with middle forward Thomas Mikaele for the 2024 season.

Mikaele has appeared in 91 top-flight games across five seasons in the NRL and UK Super League.

A two-time Australian Schoolboy when attending renowned rugby league nursery Keebra Park State High School, Mikaele made his NRL debut for the Wests Tigers in 2019 and appeared in 66 games for the club until departing for the UK Super League in 2022.

The 25-year-old appeared in 24 games for the Warrington Wolves and also registered one game for the Gold Coast Titans upon his return to the NRL in 2023.

Mikaele arrived in North Queensland earlier this week and completed his first training session on Thursday morning.

“We’re fortunate to have the opportunity to secure a player of Tom’s calibre and experience this late in the pre-season,” Cowboys General Manager of Football Micheal Luck said.

“Tom is a powerfully built middle forward, who not only adds depth to our squad, but we believe can make a significant impact for us at NRL level.”

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Warriors have signed veteran back-rower Kurt Capewell on a three-year deal effective immediately, after he was granted a release from the remainder of his contract with the Broncos.

The former Maroons representative and 2021 premiership winner will link up with the club on a deal that goes through to the end of the 2026 NRL season, after Brisbane released him with a year to go on his contract.

“We’re thrilled to be able to lock in a player of Kurt’s quality and experience immediately,” said Warriors general manager recruitment, pathways and development Andrew McFadden.

“Quite apart from what Kurt will provide as a player, he’ll be immensely valuable with his experience in a mentoring role for the young back rowers we have coming through the club.”

They have also announced that centre Rocco Berry and second rower Jackson Ford have joined captain Tohu Harris in signing extensions with the club.

Harris agreed to terms on a new one-year deal which will keep him in Auckland until at least the end of the 2025 season earlier this week.

Berry has signed through to 2026, while Ford has extended to 2025, with both players earning contract extensions following their strong performances this season.

One New Zealand Warriors head coach Andrew Webster told the club’s website he was thrilled to see the players rewarded for their performances.

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