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Lolohea staying put at Warriors: club CEO

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/09/2016 Angelo Risso
Tuimoala Lolohea © Getty Images Tuimoala Lolohea

Warriors hotshot Tuimoala Lolohea is going nowhere next season despite Kieran Foran's arrival, according to the club's chief executive.

Weeks of negotiations came to an end on Thursday afternoon when the Auckland-based side picked up the troubled Foran on a one-year deal for 2017.

The addition of Foran will complete the Warriors' all-Kiwi spine alongside fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, halfback Shaun Johnson and hooker Issac Luke.

Lolohea, 21, was used as a utility for much of 2016 but was expected to take up the No.6 jersey vacated by Wigan-bound veteran Thomas Leuluai.

Foran's arrival will jettison those plans for the club, who hope to put an inconsistent and listless campaign behind them.

Nevertheless, Warriors chief Jim Doyle told reporters Lolohea was contracted for several more years and wouldn't be granted an early release.

He said the fleet-footed Kiwi should use the opportunity to learn from two of the strongest halves in the game.

The same would go for 19-year-old playmaker Ata Hingano.

"If you want to be the best, it's always good to learn from the best," Doyle said on Friday.

"We'll talk to Tuimoala and make sure he's very clear that we see he's got a long future here."

Lolohea, who has played 49 games in the Warriors black, was left out of ex-coach Andrew McFadden's run-on squad for an extended period in July.

After a brief return to the side he was again dropped, this time to the NSW Cup squad, following a dire showing against the Rabbitohs.

Doyle said he understood Lolohea's frustration in being deployed in various positions, including fullback, winger and five-eighth.

The chopping and changing had unsettled the playmaker as he looked to establish himself in the starting XIII.

But Doyle felt it was all part of the learning process.

"Every team gets injuries and it's a testament to him as a player that he's capable of playing in those positions," Doyle said.

Meanwhile, Doyle admitted Foran would be the only high-profile Warriors recruit for 2017 with the club's salary cap almost exhausted.

Foran's contract, worth a reported $600,000 a year, is yet to be ratified by the NRL, who are seeking further assurances on the star's mental wellbeing and relationship with colourful Sydney personalities.

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