Dragons forward Leeson Ah Mau.

Leeson Ah Mau signs with Warriors for 2019

Dragons prop Leeson Ah Mau will return to the New Zealand Warriors next season on a three-year deal.

Ah Mau, who made his NRL debut with the Warriors in 2009, has spent the past seven seasons at St George Illawarra and has played 16 Tests for Samoa.

"Leeson will be a wonderful addition to our squad from next season," Warriors coach Stephen Kearney said.

"He's a big forward who is consistently one of the Dragons' best week in, week out. He fits the mould of the type of player we're building our squad around – tough, durable and with a tremendous attitude in all he does on and off the field.

"We've always had an interest in him as did a number of clubs, so we're really excited he was keen to come back home and join the club he started with."

Ah Mau was the Dragons' player of the year in 2015 and the club's director of rugby league pathways Ian Millward said he'd be missed.

"Leeson is a player we tried to retain but we also understood that there were a lot of other implications and they're not always about money," Millward said.

"He's given outstanding service – not only this season, but his previous seasons – and he's been a real benchmark for our other forwards in terms of how he's gone about his business and the way he's played the game. 

"At the end of the day, we're really delighted he's been able to secure a contract. We understand the reasons why he didn't accept our offer and we can't applaud him enough for what he's done for the Dragons.

"We also appreciate that he signalled his intentions early so we have been active in the market place seeking a replacement for Leeson."