BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 09: Zac Santo of the Raiders attempts to break away from the defence during the round 14 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Canberra Raiders at Suncorp Stadium on June 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The Vodafone Warriors have re-signed Ligi Sao until the end of the 2019 NRL season and secured Canberra fullback-wing Zac Santo for the rest of this season and next on a second-tier contract.

Sao (24) returned home last season after a three-year stint with Manly which netted 21 NRL appearances from 2013-15.

Used in an interchange capacity in seven games so far this season, Sao had an injury-hampered campaign with the Vodafone Warriors in 2016 which included his first NRL appearance for the club against Canterbury-Bankstown in Wellington.

Santo (24) made his NRL debut with North Queensland in 2014 and has been used twice at the first-grade level since joining the Raiders in 2016. A regular for Canberra’s feeder club the Mounties in the Intrust Super Premiership, he was named at fullback in the ISP team of the year last season.

“Ligi has been a great acquisition for us, bringing his experience from Manly and helping to give us depth among our middle forwards,” said Vodafone Warriors recruitment and development manager Tony Iro.

“We’ve been following Zac for a while and we’re excited he has become available in mid-season to give us more options in our outside backs.”

Sao and Santo become team-mates at the Vodafone Warriors almost six years after they were opponents in the NYC grand final in 2011. Santo scored two tries for the Cowboys in a match which was level 30-30 after 80 minutes before Sao and his Vodafone Junior Warriors went on to take the title with a golden point extra-time field goal.

Townsville-born and raised Santo has featured in the NRL Nines tournament at Eden Park every year. He was in North Queensland’s title-winning side in 2014 and again represented the Cowboys in 2015 while he was in Canberra’s line-up the last two years.

His only NRL appearance this year was at fullback in the Raiders’ season-opening clash against his old North Queensland side in Townsville.

Santo is due to begin training with the Vodafone Warriors tomorrow.

Warriors 2022 Player Movements

2022 Gains
Lleyton Finau (2022), Shaun Johnson (Cronulla Sharks, 2023), Otukinekina Kepu (2024), Valingi Kepu (2024), Aaron Pene (Melbourne Storm, 2023)
2022 Losses
Leeson Ah Mau (retired), Kane Evans (Hull FC), David Fusitu'a (Leeds Rhinos), Peta Hiku (North Queensland Cowboys), Karl Lawton (Manly Sea Eagles), Ken Maumalo (Wests Tigers), Sean O'Sullivan (Penrith Panthers), Hayze Perham (Parramatta Eels), Jamayne Taunoa-Brown (North Queensland Cowboys), Chad Townsend (North Queensland Cowboys), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Rugby union), Paul Turner (Gold Coast Titans)
Re-Signed
Bunty Afoa (2023), Rocco Berry (2024), Josh Curran (2023), Edward Kosi (2023), Kodi Nikorima (2022), Taniela Otukolo (2024), Adam Pompey (2023), Jazz Tevaga (2023)
Off Contract 2022
Wayde Egan, Lleyton Finau, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Temple Kalepo, Marcelo Montoya, Jack Murchie, Kodi Nikorima, Pride Petterson-Robati, Iliesa Ratuva
 

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