Hohaia confirms move to ESL side St Helens

Warriors utility Lance Hohaia has announced that he is set to leave the New Zealand Warriors at the end of the 2011 season, after signing a 4-year deal with ESL club, St Helens.

Hohaia, who is 28, has been in the NRL for 10 seasons, and is only the third Warriors player behind club legends Stacey Jones and Awen Guttenbeil to reach the milestone.

Hohaia informed his team-mates about his decision this morning at training.

“It’ll be sad when I do leave because this club has been such a big part of my life. I couldn’t play for any other club in the NRL,” he said.

“This is a great opportunity to go to St Helens and I’m really excited about it but, for now, all I want to do is give as much as I can to the Warriors for the rest of this season.”

Wayne Scurrah, the Warriors Chief Executive said that the club were very reluctant to let one of their best players leave the club.

“We had an option for next year but it was too early for us to make a decision on it,” he said.

“Lance asked whether he would be able to have a look around for opportunities in the meantime and the St Helens offer came up soon after.

“He’s in his testimonial year with us and in view of the fantastic contribution he has made to the Warriors we have allowed him to pursue his plans. It’s a brilliant contract for him and I know everyone at the club, our members and all fans will wish him all the best.”

Warriors coach Ivan Cleary has said that although Hohaia may be leaving at the end of the season, he still has a crucial role to play in the Warriors season this year.

“Lance has made a great contribution to this club and has been a big part of it,” he said.

“It’s exciting for him having a contract like this at this stage of his career but for now I know he’ll just want to keep doing all he can to help us this season. He remains an important part of our squad.”

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