NRL: Interest in Ken Maumalo could see move from New Zealand Warriors – report

The Warriors could soon turn from buyers to sellers in the NRL player market, with suggestions of teams showing interest in the services of one of the club’s star wingers.

Speaking to Triple M, Australian sports journalist Brent Read reported Ken Maumalo’s services are being shopped around the competition by his manager, despite the 26-year-old being contracted with the Warriors until the end of the 2022 season.

“He’s a big powerful winger and he will be decent value for someone somewhere and it looks like it won’t be at the Warriors next year,” Read said of the winger’s situation.

The suggestions come after the Warriors announced the signing for Melbourne prop Aaron Pene and the re-signing of utility forward Bunty Afoa earlier in the week. The club is already set to lose centre Peta Hiku to the North Queensland Cowboys, halfback Paul Turner to the Gold Coast Titans and fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to the Blues in Super Rugby at season’s end.

Maumalo has impressed since making his NRL debut for the Warriors in 2015, scoring 41 tries in 105 performances – including 17 in the 2019 season.

After appearing in 23 games for the club in each of the 2017, 18 and 19 seasons, Maumalo has only played 18 games over the last two seasons. In 2020, he was one of four players who chose to return back to New Zealand midway through the season to be with their families, while this season he has been nursing a calf injury over the past two weeks and has been unavailable.

Maumalo could return for the Warriors’ clash against the Melbourne Storm this Sunday, being named on the extended bench for the match. He’s one of several Warriors players who could be welcomed back this week. Forward duo Bayley Sironen (knee) and Josh Curran (elbow) have been named in the starting 13, while prop Addin Fonua-Blake (knee) has also been named on the extended bench.

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