Fonua-Blake locked in for three years
Richard Becht & Photosport.nz
Tue 22 Sep 2020, 01:22 PM
Addin Fonua-Blake MMT.png


Powerhouse Mate Ma’a Tonga and Manly front rower Addin Fonua-Blake has today been confirmed as the Vodafone Warriors’ fifth major signing for their 2021 NRL campaign after being secured on a three-year contract to the end of the 2023 season.

The imposing 189cm, 118kg prop’s acquisition follows the signing of his Tonga teammate Ben Murdoch-Masila from Warrington, Parramatta Eels prop Kane Evans and St George Illawarra centre Euan Aitken plus ex-Canberra back rower Jack Murchie, who was signed on an extended deal after initially joining the Vodafone Warriors only until the end of this year.

“Addin’s signing could be one of the most important the club’s history,” said Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan.

“He is exactly what we have been looking for to bring into our squad.

“The transformation of our pack is almost complete having Addin along with Kane Evans and Ben Murdoch-Masila plus the rise of young players like Eliesa (Katoa), Jamayne (Taunoa-Brown) and Jack (Murchie) and injured players returning to complement the skill and work rate of Tohu Harris (Harris) and Jazz (Tevaga).

“Addin has a big motor, power, the skill set and the body shape we were looking for to take our pack to a new level.

“He’s very close to a lot of players in our squad having cemented relationships with them over a number of years at Test level and with the Junior Kiwis. At 24 years of age he has the best years in front of him as a premier front rower in the NRL.”

Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George is elated with the signing.

“It’s a huge coup for us and we’re thrilled to welcome Addin and his family to our club,” he said.

“Having him on board is the missing part of the puzzle as we have worked to establish a squad to compete with the best clubs in the competition.”

Fonua-Blake, who was granted a release from his contract with Manly after playing his 97th and last match for the club on September 11, won’t line up for the Sea Eagles in their season-ending encounter with the Vodafone Warriors this Sunday.

After being used predominantly as an interchange prop in his first two seasons he has been a first-choice starting front rower for Manly since 2018.
In 15 appearances this season he has averaged 167 metres and 26 tackles a game while across his career he averages 125 metres and 21 tackles a match.

He made his international debut with the Kiwis in 2017 but then switched to Tonga in 2018.

ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE
Date of Birth: November 6, 1995
Birthplace: Meadowbank, Sydney
Junior Club: Mascot Jets, Sydney
Position: Prop
Height: 1.89m
Weight: 118kg
Rep Honours: 1 Test for Kiwis (2017), 6 Tests for Tonga (2018-2019)
NRL Debut: Manly Warringah v Parramatta, Brookvale Oval, April 14, 2016 (Round 7)
NRL Career: 97 appearances for Manly (2016-2020):
NRL Points: 52 (13 tries)

 

Miket12

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 20, 2012
9,672
Is there anyone with an NZ Herald subscription who could post today's article about Addin Fonua-Blake?

Rugby league: Addin Fonua-Blake on joining the Warriors for NRL's 2021 season​


Addin Fonua-Blake wants to become a better man, and he joined the Warriors to try and accomplish that.

As one of the leading props in the NRL, Addin Fonua-Blake was a hot commodity in the player market late last year after he asked for a release from the Manly Sea Eagles with two years remaining on his contract.

The 25-year-old Tongan international had his suitors, and surprised some with his decision to sign a three-year contract with the Auckland-based Warriors.

Despite confirming his signing with the Warriors late last year, Fonua-Blake, his wife, Ana, and their four children Aubrey (6), Malachi (5), Addin (2), Alilia (1) have yet to settle in Auckland, instead linking up with the club first at their off-season base in Kiama, New South Wales.

The group based there have since linked up with the Auckland-based group in Tamworth to continue their pre-season preparations.


1610937869611.png


Fonua-Blake explained location played a major factor in his decision to join the Warriors.

"It was a personal thing," Fonua-Blake said. "I had to become a better man, father, husband and everything, and a player also, and I thought getting out of Sydney would be the best thing for me.

"Being a dad has helped me along the way, responsibility-wise. I'm responsible not just for myself but for four other humans, and also for my wife. I reckon if I didn't have these kids, life would be a bit different but I'm grateful for the position I'm in."

Talented as he is, Fonua-Blake has made headlines for the wrong reasons during his rugby league career. In 2015, while he was captaining the St George Illawarra Dragons under-20s side, he pleaded guilty to assault charges after pushing and kicking his partner after a night of drinking. He was fined $1000, ordered to undergo counselling and given a one-year suspended sentence. He had his contract terminated by the Dragons.

After completing a comprehensive counselling and development programme, he was cleared for a return to the game by the NRL's integrity unit in 2016, and made his NRL debut with the Manly Sea Eagles that year.

More recently, Fonua-Blake's hot temper on the field got the better of him in a match last season and he received a suspension after a verbal tirade on a referee following a close loss.

On form, Fonua-Blake is one of the most damaging props in the NRL. In 2020, he was ranked third in post-contact metres per game, averaging about 75m a game. And while his emotion can sometimes get the better of him on the field, in signing with the Warriors, Fonua-Blake has the opportunity to turn over a new leaf.

"So far, I'm feeling good. I feel like I'm in a better space but it's only early days so I don't want to say too much. I'm just taking it one day at a time and so far, so good."

Rugby league: Addin Fonua-Blake on joining the Warriors for NRL's 2021 season - NZ Herald
 

zaggo

1st Grade Fringe
Jul 19, 2016
312
Our most important players out for an extended period. Along with our marque centre, along with our starting half.

It's honestly laughable at this point. Two big name signings in the two positions we've been screaming out to fill for years, and both get long term injuries in the first few weeks.

Thank god Bunty decided to stick it out, otherwise we'd really be in trouble in the pack. Time for fringe guys like Jamayne Tounua-Brown and Evans to really put their hands up.
 

Noitall

1st Grade Fringe
Aug 21, 2019
1,980
League site is saying he’s out for several months, is his season done or 6-8 weeks out?
 

wizards rage

1st Grade Fringe
Apr 18, 2016
3,801
Tauranga
League site is saying he’s out for several months, is his season done or 6-8 weeks out?
Depends if he needs surgery by the sound of it.

If so, it could be 3 months+. They are being a bit quiet about what the problem actually is. He’s had surgery on the PCL last year and there could be complications?
 

Sup42

Warriors 1st Grader
May 7, 2012
20,460
Wonder how much extra damage he did on the exercise bike while the stupid staff tried to push him to play that meaningless game.

Should have retired him immediately, he is too important for guess work, let the scan decide.
 
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