The Warriors have tabled star forward Tohu Harris a three-year extension as the club continues to re-work its roster ahead of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's shift to rugby union.
NRL.com understands that talks between the Warriors and Harris are progressing well with a long-term deal tabled and the Kiwi international indicating he is keen to stay at the club.
The Warriors are still waiting on an answer from Storm star Jahrome Hughes on their bid to lure him away from the premiers, but the club is pushing ahead talks with Harris, their unabashed retention priority this season.
Having turned 29 in January, Harris is regarded as one of the game's elite back-rower's as he prepares to shift from the edge to a middle-forward role under new coach Nathan Brown.
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A three-year extension would keep the 16-Test New Zealand international at the Warriors until the end of 2024 and leave him well positioned to finish his career with the club.
Harris also shapes as a likely captaincy replacement for Tuivasa-Sheck when he departs at the end of the season, with the Kiwi forward now boasting 167 NRL games, 117 of which were played under Craig Bellamy at Melbourne.
Tuivasa-Sheck's decision to pursue his All Blacks dream, taking up a two-year deal with Auckland Blues in 2022, was first broached late last year.
The early confirmation of his exit has given Brown and the Warriors hierarchy plenty of time to canvas their replacement options in the market.
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The club is also considering re-balancing their salary cap distribution somewhat with Tuivasa-Sheck's exit as both the Warriors' highest paid player and one of the biggest earners in the NRL.
For Tuivasa-Sheck the early decision on his future also eases what has been an ongoing narrative throughout his rugby league career, with the star fullback often questioned about a move back to the 15-man code.
Tuivasa-Sheck addressed Warriors players three weeks ago in Tamworth a day after news of his impending rugby move broke.
'This time it's real' was the simple message he gave his teammates and staff, before both he and Brown spoke of making the most of their last campaign together.
"It was tough to tell the boys but I'm glad they respected [my decision] and now we're ready to rip in," Tuivasa-Sheck said from the club's new camp in Terrigal.
"I had to get up in front of the group and let them know what the plan was and what I was doing. And they respected it.
"We all realise it's professional sport and we've got these games together.
"Once I made a decision and made a call I wanted to do it nice and early out of respect for my team and our players.
"I didn't want to be constantly brushing rumours or have gossip around me. I got it done nice and early so we can focus on our season and we've got a trial this weekend. I'm excited about our group and what we can do.
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"It's my last time with the club and these players. But I'm excited for it. There's nothing extra that I need to do or want to do. I've just got to go out there and put my best foot forward for the boys to follow."
Tuivasa-Sheck will be among the 23 or 24-man squad Brown takes to Lismore for Saturday's trial match against the Titans. Top squad members who don’t make the trip to Lismore will play for feeder club Redcliffe against Brisbane Norths in Queensland on the weekend.
The Warriors had been scheduled to play Melbourne last week before that game was scrapped due to Victoria's COVID-19 lockdown.
Back-rower Eliesa Katoa's recovery from a fractured eye-socket suffered at training is progressing well and is on track to play the Gold Coast in round one.