It is a blow to the Warriors for the future, with Warriors Recruitment and Development Manager Dean Bell confirming that utility Lewis Brown will leave the Auckland based club at the end of the 2012 NRL season.
The confirmation comes, after both Brown and the Warriors failed to agree to terms for a new contract beyond this season, with the club accepting Brown’s departure, as well as his 3-year deal with Penrith from the 2013 NRL season.
In spite of Brown’s departure, Bell said that the team did all they could to convince Brown to stay.
â€œWe made a very competitive offer to extend Lewisâ€™ career with the Vodafone Warriors but, in the end, the two of us couldnâ€™t agree terms. We hope the future works out well for him and wish him all the best,â€ he said.
Although he has agreed terms with Penrith for 2013 and beyond, Brown says that the decision to leave the club was not an easy one for him.
â€œIt will be tough leaving. The Vodafone Warriors gave me my break to play in the NRL and also the chance to represent the Kiwis,â€ he said.
â€œI love the club but I had to look after my career and I thought the best option for my future was to accept the contract at Penrith.â€œMy heartâ€™s still at the Vodafone Warriors. Weâ€™re only just into the 2012 season and theyâ€™ll have my full commitment for the rest of the year.â€œI want to thank the club for the opportunity theyâ€™ve given me over the last four years.â€
Wayne Scurrah, who is the Warriors Chief Executive – is disappointed to see Brown leave the club, but can see the positive mark that he has left on the club.
â€œIâ€™ll always remember our first meeting with him in Sydney and the impression he left,â€ he said.
â€œHe had so much enthusiasm and he brought that to the Vodafone Warriors. He has made a great contribution to the club, becoming a first-grade regular in his first season in 2009 and going on to play for the Kiwis as well.â€