The Dolphins have confirmed the signing of New Zealand Warriors second-rower Euan Aitken for the start of the 2023 NRL campaign.
The Warriors are priced at 9/1 to make the top eight and play finals in what will now be Aitken’s last season with the club.
Aitken was tied down to a contract until the end of the 2023 campaign but the Warriors have agreed to an early release so he can join the Dolphins for their debut NRL campaign.
The player’s decision is down to family reasons. The Warriors have been based in Redcliffe but will return to New Zealand to start playing games on home soil once again.
Aitken was not against that idea but signing with the Dolphins and staying in Redcliffe will suit his family situation better.
"If it was up to just me I probably would have gone (to NZ) and seen out the contract because I do like the club, it's got some great people and it's got some great people running the place," he told reporters. "So there's definitely some fond memories here and it's definitely a hard decision to leave because there's definitely great people and it's going to go places in the near future."
Meanwhile Dolphins CEO Terry Reader has saluted the deal and believes the experience Aitken will add to the roster will be crucial.
"Importantly, he is skilful enough to play either centre or on the edge at second row, and that is a valuable commodity in today's NRL competition," he said. "He will also be able to bring some familiarity around our home base for our new squad after spending a full season training and playing there with his current club.”