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NRL: NZ Warriors sign James Fisher-Harris from Panthers for 2025

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The New Zealand Warriors have announced the signing of three-time premiership winner James Fisher-Harris on a four-year deal beginning in 2025.

The veteran forward approached the Penrith Panthers this week with a request to return home to New Zealand on compassionate grounds.

Fisher-Harris has been an integral part of the club’s success in recent years, including four consecutive NRL Grand Final appearances.

The 2023 IRL Golden Boot winner debuted for the Panthers in 2016 and has only finished one season with a winning record below 60%.

The New Zealander will be filling the void at the Warriors created by the departure of Addin Fonua-Blake, who will join the Cronulla Sharks in 2025.

Fisher-Harris has captained two games for the New Zealand Kiwis in a dozen appearances for his nation including World Cups, Pacific Championships and Test matches.

He will join a Warriors pack already stacked with top-level experience, including the likes of Buntu Afoa, Dylan Walker, Jazz Tevaga, Marata Niukore, Tohu Harris and former Panthers teammate Kurt Capewell.

“We’re absolutely delighted to be able to sign James,” said Warriors CEO Cameron George.

“It’s a huge signing for us, undoubtedly one of the biggest in our club’s history.

“To be able to add a player of his calibre and standing to our squad is a tremendous boost for 2025 and beyond.

“He’s such a highly respected player and leader.”

Fisher-Harris’ pedigree and experience will likely cause the Warriors’ betting odds for the 2025 NRL Premiership to shorten drastically.

NZ have made a strong start to the 2024 campaign and now sit on the fifth line of betting for this year’s title, paying $13 with top NRL bookmakers.

In round seven, the Warriors head to Wollongong as $1.50 favourites for their clash with the St George Illawarra Dragons on Friday night.

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