NRL star Solomone Kata tipped for code switch to union
He may have just switched clubs within rugby league, but NRL star Solomone Kata is expected to soon be playing rugby union.
Earlier this week, the 24-year-old was granted an early release from his contract with the Warriors to join the Melbourne Storm until the end of the 2020 season.
However, sources close to the Warriors told RugbyPass that Kata, who has represented both New Zealand and Tonga in league, will be making the transition to union after signing a contract with an unnamed club.
While his destination in union remains to be seen, Kata’s sudden switch from Auckland to Melbourne could be an indication that the Rebels may have made a move for 93-match NRL veteran.
A centre in rugby league, Kata would likely feature as a midfielder or winger in union.
As it stands, Matt Toomua and Reece Hodge are the only midfield options signed on with the Rebels for next year, while outside backs Dane Haylett-Petty, Jack Maddocks and Semisi Tupou will all remain at AAMI Park in 2020.
Former Australian schoolboy and U20 representative Sione Tuipulotu is the only confirmed departure from the midfield, while the likes of Tom English, Billy Meakes, Campbell Magnay and fellow league convert Marika Koroibete are all yet to confirm their intentions for next season.
Two years prior to signing with the Warriors in 2013, Kata moved from Tonga to Sacred Heart College on a rugby scholarship, playing for the school’s 1st XV in the reputable Auckland 1A competition.
After debuting in the NRL in March 2015, he scored 46 tries for the Warriors.
Internationally, Kata has played six tests for Tonga from between 2014 and 2019, scoring four tries and kicking seven goals, while in 2016, he played five times for the Kiwis, scoring one try against Australia during the Four Nations in England.
During his time in union as a youngster, he represented Tonga at U21 level.
Watch – Why Colin Cooper is stepping down:
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now