Powerhouse forward Agnatius Paasi is back home after signing a two-year contract with the Warriors.
A 2011 NYC premiership winner with the Junior Warriors, Paasi has rejoined his first NRL club after making 54 appearances for the Gold Coast Titans over the last three seasons.
He’s the third former Warrior to confirm his return to Mount Smart Stadium for next season. The club recently confirmed Kiwi utility back Peta Hiku and back rower Matiu Love-Henry had been signed after playing for the Warriors at NYC level earlier in their careers.
“Agnatius became available after being released on compassionate grounds so he and his family could return home,” said Warriors CEO Cameron George.
“We’re excited to be able to add him to our roster. He’s another aggressive forward, just the type Stephen (Kearney) is after as we look to boost our front row resources.”
Paasi is the seventh signing for 2018, one of the others being his Gold Coast team-mate Leivaha Pulu. The others secured have been Tohu Harris (Melbourne), Gerard Beale (Cronulla) and Adam Blair (Brisbane) plus Hiku and Love-Henry.
After his NRL debut for the Warriors in 2014, Paasi linked up with the Titans from 2015-2017, playing 18 times in his first season and all 25 in 2016 before injury restricted him to 11 games this year.
He was outstanding at the 2016 NRL Auckland Nines at Eden Park when he helped the Titans to the semi-finals and was named in the team of the tournament.
It was the precursor to an impressive NRL campaign when he scored five tries while averaging 11 runs and 105 metres a game as well as 20 tackles a game. His key statistics were similar in his disrupted 2017 season.
A Mangere East Hawks junior, Paasi attended Keebra Park State High School on the Gold Coast before joining the Warriors. In his only NYC season in 2011, he played 21 games and was used off the bench in the 31-30 golden point grand final win over the North Queensland Cowboys.
He went on to play for the Vulcans (2012-2013) and the Warriors (2014) in the New South Wales Cup (now the Intrust Super Premiership) before being signed by the Titans.