A three-way race for out of favour New Zealand Warrior Eliesa Katoa has reportedly narrowed to two, with the Canberra Raiders taking their offer off the table.

While Katoa is off-contract at the end of the 2024 season, it has previously been reported that the Warriors would have no problems handing him an early release if he can secure a new home.

It was suggested last week that the Melbourne Storm, Canberra Raiders and The Dolphins were all interested in acquiring his services for the 2023 season.

A strong edge forward, Katoa has struggled for game time in the set up run by Nathan Brown and now Stacey Jones, falling behind a number of players - including Jack Murchie for the final bench spot in recent times - in the pecking order.

The Daily Telegraph's David Riccio is now reporting however that the Raiders have withdrawn from the race, after they put a Friday deadline over potential contract negotiations.

That came after last week's game between the two clubs, where Katoa was a late addition after originally being named as 18th man. The Raiders ultimately took out the victory 26 points to 14.

The Storm and Dolphins are said to remain interested however, with the Melbourne-based club having signed Tariq Sims for next year, and also having Trent Loiero and Jack Howarth on the roster, but still attempting to replace both Kenneath Bromwich and Felise Kaufusi to the Dolphins, where Katoa would likely have to slot in as a bench player.

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Katoa has played 42 NRL games, making 11 appearances this season, although 6 of those have been off the interchange bench, having started the season in the starting 13 before dropping down the pecking order.

He managed 36 minutes last night against the Melbourne Storm off the interchange bench.