Tinirau Arona: Cook Islands prop to leave Wakefield

Drew Darbyshire
Tinirau Arona Wakefield Trinity SWpix

Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Cook Islands international Tinirau Arona has confirmed that he will leave Wakefield when his contract expires at the end of the season.

The 33-year-old prop has made 162 appearances for Wakefield since arriving at Belle Vue from the NRL ahead of the 2016 season.

Arona will play his final home game for Wakefield on Thursday when they welcome Hull KR to Belle Vue.

“After seven years at Wakefield, tomorrow night will be my last home game,” Arona tweeted.

“I’ll farewell our fans after the match with the other lads leaving.

“I’ve got nothing but respect for Michael (Carter, chief executive), John (Minards, chairman) and the board for everything they have done for my family and I.

“Michael has had my back since I first arrived at the end of 2015 and I’ll be forever grateful.”

Arona’s announcement comes a day after prop David Fifita confirmed he would also be departing Wakefield at the season’s end.

James Batchelor will move to Hull KR for 2023. Jacob Miller, Yusuf Aydin and Jack Croft are also out of contract at the end of the season, with Miller widely linked with a move to Castleford.

Jay Pitts, Jai Whitbread and Sadiq Adebiyi are off-contract, but all have options in their deals for next year.

FULL LIST: Every Super League player out of contract at end of 2022

More on Tinirau Arona

Arona was born in Dunedin, New Zealand and is of Cook Islander heritage. He moved to Australia as an 11-year-old. He is cousins with former Cook Islands international Tupou Sopoaga.

The powerhouse prop made his international debut for the Cook Islands as a 17-year-old in 2006.

Arona would have to wait five more years for his NRL debut, which came with Sydney Roosters. He made 36 appearances for the Roosters over the course of three seasons between 2011-13.

Arona linked up with Cronulla Sharks in 2014, playing 33 first-grade games across two seasons.

He then made the switch to Super League with Wakefield ahead of the 2016 season. He has since become a fan favourite at Belle Vue.

On the international scene, Arona has won 10 caps for the Cook Islands and will be hoping to play in his second World Cup this autumn.

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