NRL Rd 4 - Panthers v Warriors
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 05: Eliesa Katoa of the Warriors looks on during the round four NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the New Zealand Warriors at Campbelltown Stadium on June 05, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The New Zealand Warriors have lost another young name from their ranks, with 22-year-old forward Eliesa Katoa opting to trade Mount Smart for Melbourne ahead of the 2023 season.

Since making his debut for the Kiwi club during the opening round of last season, the second-rower has pulled on the Warriors' pukana crested kit on a further 41 occasions.

Across the course of his sophomore season under the watch of both Nathan Brown and club legend, Stacey Jones, Katoa has averaged north of 40 minutes throughout his 11 first-grade appearances.

And while Katoa has completed just shy of 249 tackles during his 2022 campaign, at the wildly efficient rate of 95.4 per cent, the burgeoning Tongan talent has elected to take his wares across the ditch, signing a two-year deal with the Storm.

Katoa will remain a Warrior for the remainder of the franchise's season before making the move to Australian shores ahead of the pre-season.

Craig Bellamy's squad was bolstered further on Monday, following the announcement that Tui Kamikamica and Tepai Moeroa have both extended their deals with the purple franchise until the completion of next season.

Despite missing the opening nine rounds of this year after being sidelined due to the league's no-fault stand-down policy, Kamikamica has returned to Bellamy's first-grade pack, playing a key role along the road to September.

While Moeroa's fortunes were reversed following a debilitating scapula injury sustained during Round 9, the rugby union convert impressed upon his return to the 13-man code.

Katoa's Warriors are set to play host to the travelling Bulldogs this Friday night at their Penrose home, while Kamikamica's purple band make the trip across the Murray to do battle with Penrith the night prior.