Home is where the heart is for many players and for current Manly Sea Eagles forward Ligi Sao, it was the opportunity to return to New Zealand that influenced his decision.
Sao has signed a 2-year deal to rejoin the New Zealand Warriors, after joining the Sea Eagles back in 2013.
He was a member of the Warriors 2011 Holden Cup premiership winning side and has so far played in 16 NRL games in total, 15 of which have come this season.
With more game-time under his belt, Sao returns to the Warriors a better player, and it is those traits and skills he has developed that convinced them to sign him once more.
â€œWeâ€™ve been watching Ligi and he has developed well at Manly, especially this year with a lot more exposure at NRL level,â€ said Vodafone Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden.
â€œHe helps our depth with our middle players and increases competition for spots. Itâ€™s also great to be able to bring Ligi back home.â€
For Sao himself, returning home is a great feeling for him. Whilst he will see out the year with Manly and give it his all, he will have a chance to play alongside some former team-mates.
â€œIâ€™ve got the rest of this season ahead of me here at Manly but Iâ€™m excited the Warriors have given me the chance to come home,â€ Sao said.
â€œItâ€™s a new challenge for me and one Iâ€™m looking forward to. Iâ€™ve really enjoyed my time with Manly and have been lucky to be around some great players but itâ€™s going to good being back in Auckland for next season.â€