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Warriors sign up Watene-Zelezniak for a further year


Dallin Watene-Zelezniak scores a try during the NRL pre-match against the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Photo: Dave Hunt/photography

Warriors winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak has signed a new one-year contract keeping him at the club until the end of the 2025 NRL season.

The deal ensures Winger of the Year Dally M will extend his stay with the Warriors for a fifth season after initially signing in 2021 until the end of 2024.

Watene-Zelezniak’s contract follows a career-best 12th NRL campaign, in which he scored 24 tries, beating the club’s 20-year-old record of 23 for most tries in a season.

“Dallin has been a great influence on and off the field since we entered the challenging times when we were based in Australia,” Warriors general manager Andrew McFadden said.

“Like some players, it was a great success when we returned home for the 2023 season.”

In addition to making the Dally M Team of the Year, Watene-Zelezniak was voted by their peers as one of the wings in the RLPA Dream Team of the Year.

He was also a contender for the Warriors’ top award, the Simon Mannering Medal.

Dally M Warriors 2023 winners - Gear of the year Addin Fonua-Blake, half back of the year Shaun Johnson and wing of the year Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.

Dally M Warriors 2023 winners – Gear of the year Addin Fonua-Blake, half back of the year Shaun Johnson and wing of the year Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.
Photo: NRL Photos /

“What Dallin showed everyone was how much it meant to him and his family to be back in New Zealand,” coach Andrew Webster said.

“He stood out as one of the best flyers in the competition, if not the best.

“His clearance was incredible and the threes were the icing on the cake, and the way he scored so many of them.

“Not only that, his defense has gone a long way to how reliable he is, to understand where he needs to be for the team, to make the right decision.”

Watene-Zelezniak’s haul of 24 tries in just 20 games doubled his previous season best of 12 in 2016 and his strike rate of 1.2 tries a game was the best of the competition’s leading try scorers.

Averaging 153 meters per game, he finished the season with 25 line breaks, four try assists and 80 tackle breaks.

In 47 appearances for the Warriors, Watene-Zelezniak has scored 37 tries.

He is now just 14 tries away from joining the NRL’s 100-try club and will start the 2024 season 10 games short of his 200th career appearance.

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