New Zealand Warriors prop Sam Rapira will quit the NRL side at the end of the season to move to the English Super League.
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The 29-year-old informed Warriors teammates and staff on Wednesday morning of his decision.
Currently in his 10th season in the NRL, Rapira is the longest-serving front-rower in Warriors history and was part of the side that reached the 2011 grand final.
“It was tough to tell the boys but I know it’s time for me to move on,” Rapira said in a club statement.
“The Warriors club has been a massive part of my life. I am very grateful to my family and all my supporters.
“It was a hard decision but I’m pleased to have the next stage of my career sorted.”
Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden said Rapira has been a “rock-solid performer” for the club, and lauded his leadership qualities.
“Sam is a terrific person and a fantastic team man who encompasses all the values we seek in our players,” McFadden said.
“He stands out as one of our leaders, a steadying influence and a rock-solid performer who never gives less than everything he has when he plays for the club.
“It’s a tough day for everyone here and especially his team-mates. We all want this last year to be the best it can be for Sam. He certainly deserves it after the effort he has put in.”
Rapira has made 169 appearances in the NRL since making his debut against the Wests Tigers in 2006 and was part of New Zealand’s World Cup-winning squad of 2008.