Via Warriors media
Highly-rated back rower Demitric Sifakula has moved into the One New Zealand Warriors’ fulltime NRL squad after being secured to the end of the 2025 season.
The Otahuhu Leopards junior has been upgraded from a development contract after first being signed by the club as a 15-year-old.
He impressed in his debut for the club when he started in the second row in last week’s 48-12 Preseason Challenge win over Wests Tigers at Mount Smart Stadium.
He has been included on an extended bench for the One New Zealand Warriors’ second and final trial against Melbourne in Christchurch on Sunday.
“Demitric might still be 18 but it was no surprise to us that he should look right at home playing alongside NRL players in the trial,” said One New Zealand Warriors head coach Andrew Webster.
“Everything we’ve seen of him has reinforced to us that he’s a player who belongs at this level.”
Sifakula’s promotion into the club’s top 30 comes just days after fullback Taine Tuaupiki was also elevated to the fulltime squad.
“We’re really excited about what the future holds for Demitric. He’s a player of special ability,” said One New Zealand Warriors general manager recruitment, development and pathways Andrew McFadden.
“He suffered a real setback when he needed shoulder surgery in 2021 but he proved how dedicated and resilient he is with the way he came back last season. He has done all that has been asked of him to reach this point.”
Sifakula, who turns 19 next month, juggled rugby league and rugby union at school level when he played for De La Salle College’s First XV.
Re-signed as a 17-year-old, he was based in Australia training with the One New Zealand Warriors last year where he made his return to the field later in the season with his debut for feeder club Redcliffe in the Queensland colts’ competition.
He featured in each of the Dolphins’ last six matches of the season, scoring two tries – one of them in the side’s grand final defeat – and averaging 105 metres and making 28 tackle breaks.
In last week’s trial against the Tigers he clocked up 107 metres from 10 carries and made 25 tackles.
|Born||March 15, 2004|
|Junior club||Otahuhu Leopards|
|Position||Second row/loose forward|
|Queensland colts career||6 appearances (2022)
8 points (2 tries)