Gold Coast utility Karl Lawton has been signed by the Warriors, while hooker Sam Cook and highly-promising fullback Hayze Perham have had their contracts upgraded ahead of the 2018 NRL season starting next week.
Vodafone Warriors general manager football Brian Smith said Cook and Perham had been rewarded for their performances in the preseason and the club’s NRL trials, while the 22-year-old Lawton has been secured on a two-year deal.
Capable of playing in the halves, the outside backs, hooker and loose forward, Lawton has made 12 NRL appearances since his debut against the Vodafone Warriors in 2016, an occasion which ended in disappointment when he broke his leg.
He recovered to turn out 11 times for the Titans last season when he alternated between starting at hooker and being on the interchange bench.
“We’re thrilled to be able to secure Karl so quickly following Ata Hingano’s departure,” said Smith.
“While Karl’s versatility is valuable, he’s principally a five-eighth who’ll give us experience and add to our depth in the halves.”
Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney welcomed Lawton’s arrival, the club’s 10th new signing for 2018 and the third to join the club from Gold Coast (alongside Lawton’s ex-Titans team-mates Agnatius Paasi and Leivaha Pulu).
“We really like what Karl has to offer and he’ll be a great addition to our squad,” he said.
“He lined up against us twice last season and we’ve also seen him in trials so we have a good understanding of his qualities.
“It’s also pleasing to see Sam and Hayze promoted. They’ve been wonderful during our preseason training programme and also impressed in both trials.”
As well as Cook and Perham, Smith noted other rookie talent featured in the club’s NRL system including Chanel Harris-Tavita, Joseph Vuna and Matiu Love-Henry.
“They’re all examples of the rewards available to young players rising through the ranks at the Vodafone Warriors,” he said.