Former Warrington Wolves powerhouse makes NRL return after second Super League stint comes to an end

Ben Olawumi
Thomas Mikaele

Thomas Mikaele (left) celebrates his try for Warrington Wolves against Castleford Tigers in 2023 - Alamy

Ex-Warrington Wolves forward Thomas Mikaele has made a return to the NRL with North Queensland Cowboys ahead of 2024 following the conclusion of his second stint with the Wire.

The 25-year-old made a total of 25 appearances for the Wolves over a travel-heavy 15-month spell, arriving midway through the 2022 season.

Included in that 15-month timeframe was a brief return Down Under which saw him run out once for the Gold Coast Titans as well as appearing in the Queensland Cup for the Burleigh Bears.

One of six to depart Warrington at the end of the campaign just gone, Mikaele now makes a more permanent return to Australia with the Cowboys, penning a ‘Development List’ contract, with a view to earning an NRL-level deal sooner rather than later.

Former Warrington Wolves powerhouse Thomas Mikaele makes NRL return after second Super League stint comes to an end

Auckland-born, the prop made his NRL debut back in 2019 for Wests Tigers, featuring 66 times for them over the course of the two and a bit seasons that followed before being granted an early release to join Warrington.

Mikaele debuted in Super League in June 2022, and had 18 Wire appearances to his name 11 months later when he was granted an early release from his contract on ‘compassionate grounds’.

After the brief stint back Down Under, he would return following Daryl Powell’s departure as Wolves head coach on a deal running until the end of the season, featuring seven more times with his final try tally in Warrington colours being four.

The Cowboys confirmed his arrival ahead of the upcoming season via their club website earlier this week, with Mikaele completing a first training session alongside his new team-mates on Thursday.

A former Cowboys ace himself, their General Manager of Football – Micheal Luck – lauded the new arrival. He said: “We’re fortunate to have the opportunity to secure a player of Tom’s calibre and experience this late in the pre-season.

Tom is a powerfully built middle forward, who not only adds depth to our squad, but we believe can make a significant impact for us at NRL level.”

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