CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27: Addin Fonua-Blake of the Warriors is tackled during the round three NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Warriors at GIO Stadium on March 27, 2021, in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

New Zealand Warriors star prop Addin Fonua-Blake is reportedly using his final days away from pre-season training to meet with Australian-based clubs.

The prop sent a bombshell through the Warriors in recent weeks after requesting a release on compassionate grounds. It was reported he wanted to move back to Sydney to be close to his parents.

After discussion, it was eventually confirmed that Fonua-Blake would remain a Warrior in 2024, but that the club had given him permission to seek out a new home for 2025.

Those talks have now ramped up, with Channel 9 News reporting that the star prop met with the Wests Tigers at Habberfield Rowers on Thursday, with plans to meet the St George Illawarra Dragons and Canterbury Bulldogs on Friday.

The Dragons broke out as the almost immediate favourites for Fonua-Blake following his release request, with incoming coach Shane Flanagan having cash to burn and a desire to rebuild the Dragons as quickly as possible. The club are also making big money plays for North Queensland Cowboys five-eighth Thomas Dearden and Sydney Roosters star centre Joseph Manu.

It's unclear at this stage whether the Warriors will demand a player in return for Fonua-Blake, who is one of the game's best props and was named in the Dally M team of the year at the end of season awards in 2023 following his staring role in the club surprising to make the preliminary finals.

If the Warriors were to put that demand on the table, then there are few players across the competition who could match the output of Fonua-Blake, and with few props on the market for 2025, there is little in the way of signing the Warriors could make to compensate themselves.

That said, the Warriors recently released Josh Curran to the Canterbury Bulldogs in a bid to free up playing time for a host of young players at the club, and coach Andrew Webster may similarly look at Fonua-Blake's potential departure as a way to bring through the the club's youth.

Without a release, the 28-year-old forward who recently played for Tonga in a three-Test series against England is contracted to the Warriors until at least the end of 2026.