NRL Rd 8 - Wests Tigers  v Sea Eagles
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 23: Isaiah Papali'i of the Wests Tigers looks dejected after a try during the round eight NRL match between Wests Tigers and Manly Sea Eagles at Campbelltown Stadium on April 23, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The New Zealand Warriors reportedly have four players on their target list as they look to recruit a star forward in return for Addin Fonua-Blake.

Fonua-Blake recently requested a compassionate release from the New Zealand club due to personal issues that would see him return to Sydney to look after his parents.

While his immediate future will see him remain at the club for next season, it is highly likely he will be let go at the end of next season to join a rival club for the 2025 season. However, in return, the Warriors are looking for compensation for the Dally M Prop of the Year.

The New Zealand Warriors target list includes Isaiah Papali'i and Stefano Utoikamanu from the Wests Tigers, Viliame Kikau from the Canterbury Bulldogs and Jaydn Su'A from the St George Illawarra Dragons, per News Corp.

It is understood that the Bulldogs will not contemplate letting Viliame Kikau go, meaning this could potentially see them exit the race for Fonua-Blake.

The same can be said for Stefano Utoikamanu, considering his age and sources indicating that he has no desire to leave Sydney after he and his partner are expecting their second baby.

That leaves two players: Isaiah Papali'i and Jaydn Su'A.

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Su'A's desire to move away from Australia is currently unknown, but Papali'i has previously indicated that he wants to remain in Sydney. This comes despite being a former Warriors roster member between 2017-2020.

News Corp has also reported that the Wests Tigers edge back-rower is not shopping him around at this present stage but that could change.

The Cronulla Sharks have also reportedly entered the race to secure the signature of star prop Addin Fonua-Blake for the 2025 season.

This news comes after the departure of duo Matt Moylan to the Super League and Connor Tracey to the Canterbury Bulldogs ahead of next season.

Their departures mean the Sharks have a reported $750,000 to spend after it opened up space in the club's salary cap. Veteran Dale Finucane will also reportedly move from $750,000 a season salary to $300,000 for the 2025 season.

Jayden BerrellMax BradburyBilly BurnsJesse ColquhounBraden Hamlin-UeleTuku Hau TapuhaMawene HirotiKayal IroNiwhai PuruSiteni Taukamo, and Jack Williams are also off-contract at the end of next season and could be let go if the club need extra space in their cap.

“The combined salary of Moylan and Tracey sat at around $750,000,” The Daily Telegraph's journalist David Riccio said on SEN 1170 Breakfast.

“The Sharks will start to enter the discussions around Fonua-Blake (and) the Sharks could use an enforcer.

“Whether the Sharks are willing to go to the $1 million price range is yet to be seen.

“They now have flexibility that wasn't there two weeks ago. It wouldn't be wise for them not to disregard the option of Fonua-Blake.”