BREAKING: Fisher-Harris on his way out of Panthers to NRL rivals after getting early release


James Fisher-Harris is set to return home, with the marquee player announced as signing with the New Zealand Warriors.

The New Zealand franchise has announced the big move on social media, securing the services of the 28-year-old on a four-year deal.

A three-time NRL premiership winner at the Panthers, Fisher-Harris has made 183 appearances for the club, as well as four caps for the Maori All-Stars and 15 appearances for New Zealand, and was named as the 2023 Golden Boot winner for his efforts.

A decorated member of the Panthers since his arrival in 2016, the move is a significant grab for the Warriors, who will lose Addin Fonua-Blake to the Sharks at the end of this season after he also secured an early release from his deal.

The Panthers were approached last week by Fisher-Harris with a request to return home to New Zealand following the 2024 season on compassionate grounds, which the club granted.

In a statement, both Panthers coach Ivan Cleary and CEO Matt Cameron had nothing but praise for the New Zealand international.

“Fish has been exceptional for the Panthers, both on and off the field,” Panthers coach Ivan Cleary said.

“The leadership and cultural impact he has displayed since coming into first grade has been outstanding. He’s evolved into one of the game’s elite players, and coaching him has been a pleasure.

“While we would have loved him to stay at the Panthers, we wish him, his partner Natalie, and children Tahira and Deon all the best for their next chapter.”

“James has been a tremendous asset to the Panthers, and as a premiership player, has been a true reflection of a team that strives to be a source of community pride,” Panthers Rugby League CEO Matt Cameron said.

“Joining the club as an 18 year old, he has become a world-class player, captain of his nation, and a leader of men. His impact on our club culture has been truly exceptional.”

“We look forward to watching James represent the Panthers for the remainder of the 2024 season and out of respect to all parties both James and the club will refrain from making any further comment at this point in time.”

More to come.

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