Crowned as the Harold Matthews Cup winners in their maiden season, the New Zealand Warriors have signed one of the best teenage prospects in rugby league.

The New Zealand Warriors have signed Esperance, Western Australia born Kahu Capper, a cross-code teenage prodigy from the Sydney Roosters, as they look towards the future and plan for life without Shaun Johnson and other experienced players slowly entering their careers' final stages.

A star in the making, Zero Tackle, can reveal that Capper has signed a two-year train-and-trial contract with the New Zealand Warriors for the 2025 and 2026 seasons.

The contract has a player option for 2026, which means he is guaranteed two years at the club, but the Warriors also have a club option to extend his contract until the end of the 2027 season.

Growing up idolising Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Shaun Johnson, the signing of Capper follows the arrival of Jett Cleary from the Penrith Panthers.

It is a massive signing coup, considering other NRL teams showed an interest in him, and he was also wanted by the NSW Waratahs in the 15-man code.

"I played in a tournament called the Pasifika Youth Cup where Tonga, Samoa, New Zealand Māori and other Pacific nations all play each other, and the Warriors were there," Kahu Capper told Zero Tackle about how the New Zealand Warriors discovered him.

"My coach told me that the Warriors were there, and they wanted to talk to me, and we ended up chatting after the tournament."

Previously a member of the Sydney Roosters Academy, Capper unfortunately missed this year's SG Ball Cup season due to suspension but still represented the NSW Waratahs U18s at Inside Centre.

Away from the junior representative scene, he is currently playing A Grade club football for the Narraweena Hawks alongside ex-NRL prodigy Ben Roberts and his uncle Harry Berryman, who played in the junior grades for the Manly Sea Eagles.

Starting his career in the halves, he has slowly transitioned into the outside backs and will learn from the likes of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Rocco Berry, Adam Pompey and Marcelo Montoya next season.

"When I first signed with the Roosters, they actually signed me as a half. I used to be a halfback," he said.

"I was a halfback through my earlier years, and then after my injury, I came back, and I had to change position.”

"Low-key kind of," Capper, who has also become a TikTok sensation, joked when asked if he misses playing the playmaking role.

"They put me in half a couple of times, and I tried to do all the flash stuff and it didn't quite come off."

Born in Esperance, Western Australia and raised in New Plymouth, New Zealand Kahu Capper has had an amazing journey to date and unlike many of his teammates moved back across the ditch to Australia at the age of 15.

While his parents, Ngahina and Ariana, remain in Taranaki, New Zealand, Kahu is living in a shared house with a Roosters recruitment officer as he finishes his high school studies at Waverley College.

His sister Anahera and grandfather Andre also live in Australia and have played a major role in helping support him along his journey.

"They've had a big impact and been so good to me," he added.

"They've done a lot for me, especially my dad, mum, grandad, and my sister, who's been a good support too.

Away from his family and friends, Capper had thoughts of returning home to New Zealand after he missed a significant number of games in his first year due to an injury to his kneecap.

"It was pretty hard when I moved over here. I was pretty young. I didn't know how to handle it, and it was quite tough for me," Capper said.

"I felt like I wanted to go home after I found out the news (of my injury), and it was pretty scary.”

"It was quite hard because we actually didn't know what the injury was, and I wasn't meant to be out for as long as I did. I ended up being out for almost a year."

Kahu Capper. (Supplied)

A Year 12 student of Waverley College in Sydney, New South Wales, Kahu Capper is aiming to become the latest member of the prestigious school to make a name for himself in the NRL.

This would see him follow in the footsteps of Parramatta Eels forward Luca Moretti, South Sydney Rabbitohs front-rower Davvy Moale, and Roosters legends Luke Ricketson and Dave Brown.

Waverley has also been the schooling ground for many sports athletes, including former cricketers, Wallabies captains, Sydney Swans players in the AFL, and Olympic athletes.

Still, in his final year of schooling, Capper was named the New Zealand Māori U18s Captain for the 2024 Pasifika Youth Cup, in which he was named Player of the Tournament, and scored 44 total points in four games - four tries and 14 conversions.

"He's a fantastic kid, very talented rugby union and rugby league player and has made a lot of representative (teams)," Stephen O'Donnell, the Director of Co-curricular at Waverley College told Zero Tackle.

"When he was 16, he made the NSW U16s Rugby Schoolboys, played for the U18s Gen Blue Rugby Academy earlier this year and (currently) playing in our First 15.

"He's a big unit, quite agile, his sideways movement is pretty good, good ball-runner, fast feet and can tackle as well. He has a really good combination with the guys inside and outside of him.

"He is also a part of our Pasifika group and very proud of his cultural heritage.

"I work very closely with him because of the fact that his mum and dad are back in New Zealand and I promised them that we'd look after him.

"He's a very humble kid off the field, fairly quiet and very different to how he is on the field but quite funny."

Kahu Capper. (Supplied)

Thanking ex-NRL hooker Jake Friend for helping develop him into the player he is today, Capper is eager for the new journey next season for the New Zealand Warriors.

"I can't wait for the challenge, I just have to go and push myself to the limits," Capper added.

"I've had one training with the Roosters (NRL squad) and it's similar to how we train in the lower grades. It just has more intensity and more focus.

"They really knuckle down on what they're actually aiming on so I really need to take in what they're providing me and just go hard.