Warriors hand Taunoa-Brown NRL contract

Daniel Gilhooly

The Warriors have handed a maiden NRL first grade contract to Jamayne Taunoa-Brown in response to their pre-season prop crisis.

Brought to Auckland on a trial contract, the 23-year-old has done enough to earn a two-year deal and should make his first grade debut off the interchange bench in next month's opening-round match against Newcastle.

In the last fortnight, the Warriors have lost Bunty Afoa and Jackson Frei to season-ending knee injuries while fellow-prop Sam Lisone was released to the Titans.

Melbourne-born Taunoa-Brown has trialled previously at the Storm and Knights but failed to break into first grade, having played in the Queensland Cup for the last two seasons.

He impressed for the Australian Indigenous team in the recent All Star match and Warriors coach Stephen Kearney hopes his 114kg frame can make an impact for a club boasting one of the smallest packs in the NRL.