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The Warriors are confident of convincing Cronulla prop Toby Rudolf to move across the Tasman and honour an agreement to join the New Zealand-based club next season.

Rudolf is understood to have agreed to a three-year deal with the Warriors while the Telstra Premiership was suspended but he now wants out on compassionate grounds due to a family health issue.

However, the Warriors are standing firm on the deal in the belief a resolution can be found to enable him to make the switch.

It is believed Cronulla officials were taken by surprise when they learned of the deal. Sharks coach John Morris said his intention was to hang onto him.

"It would be a huge loss if he went," he said on Friday.

"I'd hate to lose him, I love him as a person. We supported him through his ACL last year and got him back on the field and finished strongly for Newtown and had a really good pre-season. 

"I had no doubt he would end up in our best 17. The effort that he plays with and the energy that he plays with is unbelievable. I would hate to lose him."

 The 24-year-old has played all seven NRL matches for Cronulla this season and has been named on the interchange bench for Saturday’s match against Gold Coast at Cbus Super Stadium.

Warriors give the NRL a deadline

The Warriors are seeking to bolster their forward depth for next season with the addition of Rudolf and Tongan powerhouse Ben Murdoch-Masila, while they have already picked up Jack Murchie after he was released by Canberra.

With Murdoch-Masila joining Tohu Harris, Adam Blair and Leeson Ah Mau, the Warriors will boast a strong and experienced pack in 2021 and they believe Rudolf would benefit from playing alongside players of that calibre.

The club also has some exciting young forward talent including Eliesa Katoa, Isaiah Papali’i and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown.

Warriors v Broncos - Round 8

It is understood the Warriors are in the market for more forwards to work alongside the likes of Agnatius Paasi, Jazz Tevaga, Josh Curran and Bunty Afoa.

In the backs, the Warriors have depth in the halves and are not in the market for former Sydney Roosters and Manly halfback Jackson Hastings, who won the Super League Man-of-Steel award as the 2019 player of the year.

Hastings currently plays for Wigan and met with Warriors officials while in New Zealand with the touring Great Britain team last November but the club is understood to have had no further contact with him.

The Warriors earlier this week rejected suggestions they should target out-of-favour Wests Tigers star Benji Marshall on a loan deal as the club believe they are well covered for halves with Chanel Harris-Tevita, Blake Green and Kodi Nikorima.

Harris-Tevita, 21, has played just 16 NRL matches and the club consider him to be a long-term halfback option.

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