Blake Green signs on with Warriors

Veteran five-eighth Blake Green has officially signed for the Warriors, penning a three-year deal to hop across the ditch.

Green played for Manly in 2017, making 24 NRL appearances and combining with Daly Cherry-Evans as the Sea Eagles finished sixth, playing finals football.

He previously played for Melbourne Storm for two seasons, following stints at Parramatta, Cronulla, the Bulldogs and in the UK Super League.

Green was released from his Manly contract on Monday as part of a protracted NRL playmaker merry-go-round, with disgruntled Rooster Mitchell Pearce expected to cross the Harbour Bridge and take his place alongside Cherry-Evans.

Pearce’s position at the Roosters was originally thrown into doubt by the club’s acquisition of superstar Cooper Cronk from Melbourne Storm.

The Warriors were glad to pounce on Green’s availability.

“He wasn’t off-contract but became available through circumstances – it couldn’t have worked out better for us,” Warriors chief executive Cameron George said.

“He’s a terrific player and his experience in winning titles and playing so much finals football will be of huge benefit to us.”

Nevertheless, Green’s signing serves as a kick in the teeth to young half Ata Hingano, who was expected to fill the breach after Kieran Foran’s departure.

Foran has signed for the Bulldogs ahead of the 2018 season in an attempt to be closer to his children, having stayed just one year in Auckland.

Hingano, meanwhile, has helped guide a formidable Tonga side around the park in the Rugby League World Cup, with Mate Ma’a qualifying for the semi-finals.

They’ll play England in their Cup semi-final on Saturday.

George didn’t see it that way, however, saying Green would help develop the likes of Hingano and Mason Lino, and assist Shaun Johnson’s game.

The 31-year-old would join the team in the coming weeks for pre-season.

“His presence will add both depth and intense competition among the halves, which is exactly what we’re after – on top of that, his background at a number of clubs in the NRL and the Super League makes him an ideal mentor.”

The Sydneysider’s signing is the Warriors’ eighth in a summer of overhaul, having finished 13th in last year’s NRL campaign under Stephen Kearney.

They’ve picked up Kiwis Adam Blair, Tohu Harris, Peta Hiku and Gerard Beale for 2018, as well as Leivaha Pulu, Matiu Love-Henry and Agnatius Paasi.

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