Samoa star Chanel Harris-Tavita rugby league return confirmed

Samoa international Chanel Harris-Tavita will return to rugby league next season after signing a two-year deal with New Zealand Warriors.

The 24-year-old took the decision to take time away from the game after helping his beloved Samoa reach the World Cup final last year.

After doing some travelling and spending a couple of months in his ancestral homeland of Samoa, Harris-Tavita wanted to return to the game he loves.

The Auckland-born back finished his fourth season with New Zealand Warriors in 2022, having made 54 appearances in the NRL to date.

Harris-Tavita has won seven caps for Samoa since making his international debut in 2019. He has also represented the Māori All Stars.

New Zealand Warriors delighted to welcome Chanel Harris-Tavita home

Andrew McFadden, Warriors general manager recruitment, pathways and development, said: “Chanel was only 23 when he made an incredibly brave decision to take time out from the game.

“But, while he wanted to experience life away from training as a professional athlete, the door was always open to him if he wanted to return to the Warriors.

“We stayed in touch and as soon as he arrived home we met to talk about a contract from next season.

“Chanel is a quality player and, at just 24, he still has a lot of football in front of him.

“He’s refreshed, loves the Warriors and is really excited about what’s happening in all areas at the club. He wants to be part of it and to contribute.”

Harris-Tavita played in all six of Samoa’s games in 2022. He played in their 42-12 win over the Cook Islands in a mid-season test before appearing in all of their matches at the World Cup.

Samoa made history at the delayed last year, becoming the first-ever tier two nation to reach a Rugby League World Cup final. They fell short to a 30-10 defeat against Australia in the final at Old Trafford.