WARRINGTON Wolves’ Tongan international forward Ben Murdoch-Masila will leave the club at the end of his current contract to join NRL side the New Zealand Warriors for the 2021 season.
Murdoch-Masila, 29, played for both the Wests Tigers and Penrith Panthers over in Australia before joining Super League and the Salford Red Devils in 2016. He was part of the Warrington Challenge Cup winning team of 2019, crossing for a try against St Helens. To date he has made 60 appearances for the club with 19 tries, since signing in 2018.
He is also recognised on the International scene representing Tonga including the World Cup of 2017 and the recent Lions Tour of 2019.
Wife Roxy, also came to the fore last year as part of the club’s women’s team, earning promotion into the Super League for 2020.
Murdoch-Masila said: “Over the three years that I’ve been here we have had pretty much the same squad so we are really close. I will definitely miss the boys. I will miss the fans too and the atmosphere they create for us; it is unreal, the passion they share with us in the good and bad times.
“I’ve always left the door open for the opportunity of an NRL comeback though. My daughter has spent her life here and all she knows is the Wire. When this opportunity came around I couldn’t say no to taking her home to meet mine and Roxy’s families.
“I want to thank all at the club for what they have done for not only me but for my wife and daughter too. They’ve gone above and beyond for us and after a tough first two seasons for me, and a not so good start, I will do whatever it takes to help repay what the Wire has done for me and do my best for the remainder of the year. To be remembered as the Tongan beast.”
Head coach Steve Price added: “Ben and I have been in regular dialogue with regards to the attention he has had from back home. We felt we put a good offer as a club to Ben but he felt it was time to go back to be closer to his family which I fully understand. One thing I do know about Ben is that he will give everything he has got for this season; he has made that commitment to all our team. We have still got eight months of hopefully some fantastic rugby from the big fella. It’s the first time, really, since he arrived here that he is injury free so we are really excited to see what that holds for us.”