Vatuvei with Warriors until 2013

The New Zealand Warriors have secured the services of barnstorming winger Manu Vatuvei until the end of the 2013 season.

The 24-year-old, who has already scored 75 tries in 110 appearances since his debut in 2004, has agreed a two-extension to his current deal.

Vatuvei, who has been nicknamed “The Beast” by broadcasters, only needs two more tries to equal Warriors legend Stacy Jones’ record of 77 tries.

Despite arousing interest from a number of clubs the world cup winning winger says his desire was always to remain with the Warriors.

“I never saw myself being anywhere else but in Auckland and with the Vodafone Warriors,” he said.

“This is where I always wanted to be. It’s where I belong. Most of all, it’s where my family wants to be. If they’re happy here then so am I.

“I could have taken up another offer overseas but I really couldn’t see that happening.

“It’s through rugby league and the Vodafone Warriors that I’ve been able to make something of my life and I hope I can go a lot further still. I want to do all I can to help us become a consistent force in the NRL.”

Vodafone Warriors head coach Ivan Cleary said Vatuvei’s new contract was a cause for real celebration.

“Players of his quality don’t come along very often but Manu’s more than a great player, he’s also a great person,” he said.

“We’ve always held Manu in the highest regard. He certainly means a lot to our club and our team. He might be a winger but, as a player, he’s as important to us as any playmaker is to any other side. That’s the true measure of the influence he has.”

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