Cowboys coach Todd Payten has no regrets at crack at $10m Kiwi Jason Taumalolo

Payten - who made his mark last year as the Warriors' interim head coach - criticised Taumalolo's lack of defensive pressure in the Cowboys' first round defeat to Penrith.

Taumalolo - a New Zealand-born Tonga test star on a 10-year deal at North Queensland worth $1 million a season - made 10 runs for 71 metres, but Payten felt his superstar middle forward should have put more pressure on Nathan Cleary's kick that led to a try for Isaah Yeo.

Warriors kick-start season with win

The first daytime kick-off of the new season happened in 30C temperatures, which brought the NRL's heat rule into force. Players were allowed a drinks-break midway through each half.

It took 25 minutes for the first points to emerge. And it came via new signing, former Rabbitoh Bailey Sironen, with Kodi Nikorima converting.

Warriors ready to battle second NRL season away from home

The club has already been in Australia in for two months under the guidance of new coach Nathan Brown and they take on Gold Coast in their opening game tomorrow.

On the upside they've brought in some new players to bolster the side, but back in Auckland the accountants are looking at the books with the franchise facing financial hardship and the stress of being away from home is taking it's toll.

A good end to an average year for the warriors beating Manly but ultimately finishing tenth after a tumultuous 2020.

Warriors' Tohu Harris leaving it to agent to sort out next NRL contract

The 29-year-old is the biggest name coming off contract at the club at the end of the season and Warriors recruitment and retention manager Peter O’Sullivan has made it his top priority to re-sign him.

A three-year-contract has been offered to Harris, but it’s unlikely that this will be signed anytime soon.

“There are a lot of things that have been spoken about in the media and all of that is being handled behind closed doors,” Harris said.

NRL open to change if new rules to make game more entertaining don't work

On Thursday chief executive Andrew Abdo said the early rounds of the season will be a litmus test and he is prepared to make changes should the new laws have an undesirable impact.

"Like any change, you have to monitor and we'll adjust if we need to," Abdo told AAP.

"The first few rounds will be critical for us to gather data.

"Ultimately the objective is to create free-flowing football for fans, but we also have to balance that out and make sure we still maintain the fabric of the game and the different skill sets of the different players.

Sivo’s NRL future still unclear

The 27-year-old Parramatta Eels sensation remains unsigned for the 2022 season.

There are reports that Sivo’s contract is up for negotiations and is placing his trust on his Manager to find ground his future.

He has scored 37 tries in 46 appearances for the Eels.

Fiji Bati Head Coach Rabele says Sivo has got what it takes to be part of the Fiji Bati squad for the Rugby League World Cup.

The 2021 NRL season kicks off with the Rabbitohs taking on defending champions Melbourne Storm on March 11th.


Leota to wipe quiet achiever tag ahead of promotion

The Panthers will turn to Leota to beef up the side's starting pack following the departures of 267-game veteran James Tamou, new Bulldog Jack Hetherington and Super League-bound Zane Tetevano in the off-season.

While Leota isn't on his front-row partner James Fisher-Harris's level of quietness around the group, he's also a player that likes to keep to himself off the paddock.

The usually silent Fisher-Harris was mic'd up by Panthers coach Ivan Cleary during a game in 2019 in a bid to see how much he spoke on the field.

Haka, hymns, kava and a dash of Aussie slang helping Warriors bond

With their squad including players with Samoan, Tongan, Fijian, Maori and Indigenous heritage, they have been taking turns to teach other about their cultures.

"We have had some activities in camp and the way that all the players have bought into it has probably been one of the most impressive things, outside of what we have done on the training paddock," coach Nathan Brown said.

"I grew up in a rather big Aboriginal community so I was reasonably across Aboriginal culture, but just to learn about all the different cultures was very interesting."

NRL prepared to shift Melbourne Storm but club are confident of staying put

Peter V'landys revealed on Monday that the Storm were again a point of concern, with Melbourne's current five-day lockdown because of a Covid-19 outbreak.

The ARL Commission chairman flagged the potential of moving them to a resort in NSW, in a bid to beat any headaches from potential border closures.

"We've got to be prepared like we were last year," V'landys told radio station SEN.

"The situation in Victoria may possibly get worse. We will certainly be look at various options today.

RTS return to rugby set for 'later this year'

New Zealand Rugby and the Blues confirmed on Saturday the captain of the Warriors rugby league side had signed a two-year contract through to the end of 2023.

The announcment also confirmed Tuivasa-Sheck would play NPC rugby for Auckland, joining the team "later this year" before starting with the Blues ahead of the 2022 Super Rugby season.

The NPC was scheduled to run from September 11 to November 27, with the Warriors NRL regular season campaign set to finish on September 9 and the Grand Final to be held on October 3.