Green signs with Warriors

Blake Green in action for Manly this year. Photo: Getty Images
Blake Green in action for Manly this year. Photo: Getty Images
Blake Green will be lining up for the Warriors next season after the veteran playmaker was yesterday granted a release from the Manly Sea Eagles.

The New Zealand Herald understands the 31-year-old five-eighth today signed a three-year deal with Warriors after months of negotiations with an announcement from the Penrose-based club expected in the next couple of days.

Green will slot in alongside Warriors and Kiwis test halfback Shaun Johnson and provide much-needed stability and experience as a replacement for Kieran Foran.

Manly coach Trent Barrett has been willing to let Green go to take up a big-money offer in Auckland on the proviso the Sea Eagles were able to secure a suitable replacement.

After starting his career with Parramatta in 2007, Green did the rounds at Cronulla, Canterbury, Hull KR, Wigan, and Melbourne, before establishing a strong halves combination with Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans this season.

It's now expected the Sea Eagles will confirm the signing of former Sydney Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce as his replacement, after the 28-year-old NSW State of Origin playmaker was also released from the final two years of his contract today.

"The club has been advised that Blake has received an opportunity to continue his NRL career elsewhere over the next few years and in the interest of Blake and his family's long-term future, has agreed to release him now," Manly CEO Lyall Gorman said via statement.

"We are comfortable with this decision as Blake is off contract at the end of the 2018 season and we are unsure of the likelihood of his contract being extended past that period.

"By granting his request, it enables Blake and his young family the chance to secure their future and at the same time give our Club the opportunity to go into the market to find the right replacement for him.

"We wish Blake and his family all the best and thank him for his valuable contribution to the Club on and off the field during his time with us."

However, Green's arrival at Mt Smart may ruffle the feathers of Warriors and youngster Ata Hingano, after the 20-year-old Tongan international re-signed with the club on a three-year deal in June.

Last month, Hingano's manager Peter Brown said his client would reconsider his options if the Warriors signed Green - although ultimately it will be the club's decision on whether to release him.

Hingano has played 15 NRL games since making his debut late in the 2016 season but has taken his game to another level during Tonga's stunning run into the Rugby League World Cup semifinals.

Regardless, Green's signing provides the Warriors with much needed depth and further bolsters their backline stocks following the earlier signings of Kiwis outside back pair Peta Hiku and Gerard Beale and gives them added leadership along with the recruitment of Kiwis captain Adam Blair.

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