A move away from the NRL is common for a lot of players and has careers wind down, the search for a new challenge increases – with Roy Asotasi, a prop from the South Sydney Rabbitohs one in search of that new challenge, signing a 2-year deal with English Super League side, the Warrington Wolves.
Asotasi, who has played 122 games for the Bunnies and 206 in his career so far, has had a great run in the NRL and rugby league so far – playing in Test matches for New Zealand and Samoa, as well as a premiership at the Bulldogs in 2004.
His contribution to Souths over the last few years is not one that will be forgotten, with Souths CEO Shane Richardson full of praise for the departing prop.
â€œRoy started the revolution at the Rabbitohs when he signed with us back in 2006 and we will never forget that,â€ Mr Richardson said.
â€œRoy was the best prop forward in the game at the time and his faith in the vision for the Club has led us to where we are heading now.
â€œAlong with Roy came the likes of David Kidwell, Nigel Vagana and Dean Widders, and following him came players of the calibre of Greg Inglis, Sam Burgess, Michael Crocker and Matt King. He has also helped develop the talents and leadership qualities of the likes of Issac Luke, John Sutton and Adam Reynolds.
â€œRoy has played well over 100 first grade games for this Club, overcome some tough battles with injury, captained the Club for a number of seasons, and has given 100% every time heâ€™s pulled on the red and green jersey.
For Souths, who are working their way back towards the top of the rugby league as an elite team, Asotasi was one of the players that started that movement when they returned to the competition.
For Richardson, he is pleased that the veteran has a chance to continue his career for Warrington.
â€œRoy is one of our forward leaders and will always be remembered as such, and now he has an opportunity to extend his career at a quality English Club in Warrington,” said Richardson.
â€œRoy will always be remembered as one of the players to set us on our current path, as a person who has helped take us from the doldrums on the field to a position where we are a contender for the premiership, and hopefully we can send Buy Viagra him out on the right note at the end of the year.
â€œWe wish him and his young family the best of luck in England next year, and we look forward to seeing him represent South Sydney on many more occasions this year.â€
With Asotasi a veteran in today’s game, it was his work ethic both on and off the field and overall professionalism that first impressed coach Michael Maguire.
â€œRoyâ€™s professionalism really stood out for me when I first came to Souths,â€ Coach Maguire said.
â€œYou could really see the passion that he had, and still has, for the Club. He wanted the Club to progress in the right direction and heâ€™s played a huge role in helping us take that direction. Heâ€™s a very loyal person; he shows great loyalty to what weâ€™re trying to do here.
â€œHeâ€™s been a major part of the leadership here at Souths, and heâ€™s been a very big part of the development of a lot of our playersâ€™ careers over the years.
â€œWith Roy, itâ€™s always about the team, and he will do everything possible to achieve the best for the Club and for his mates.â€
With the rest of the season to look forward to, Asotasi is excited at thew new challenge that awaits him in Warrington.
â€œIâ€™ve loved every minute of playing at the Rabbitohs and the ride certainly isnâ€™t over yet,â€ Asotasi said.
â€œI canâ€™t wait to run out there with the boys this weekend in Perth and hopefully many more times for the rest of this season.
â€œIâ€™ll always think of myself as a South Sydney boy, and Iâ€™ll be looking forward to the next chapter of my career once this season comes to a close.
â€œWe have much more to achieve at this Club and the job isnâ€™t done yet. Iâ€™m looking forward to playing my part for the rest of the year.â€
Warrington are just as excited to have Asotasi on board, with coach Tony Smith pleased to have secured the veteran for two years.
“We are delighted to add such a high quality player to an already very strong squad,” Smith said.
“To have a signing of this calibre join us with his international experience as well as having played for some top clubs in the NRL, his wealth of experience will be a fantastic addition. We are delighted and his qualities as a player and person will enhance our squad going forward.”