Raiders net Hingano

03 March 2018 07:26:06 EST

Canberra Raiders have confirmed the signing of former New Zealand Warriors playmaker Ata Hingano.

The 20-year-old has joined the Green Machine nine days out from their season-opener at the Titans.

Hingano sought his release from the Warriors in order to get more regular game time, although he'd only signed a three-year contract extension last June.

The halfback had found his path to a regular starting role at the Auckland club blocked by the recruitment of veteran five-eighth Blake Green.

He's signed two-year deal with the Raiders, where he'll be aiming to fill the club's vacant hooker role.

The two halves spots in Canberra are filled, so Hingano will fight it out with Siliva Havili, Craig Garvey and Sam Williams for the No. 9 jumper.

"The Raiders are missing a hooker but for me it's more being under a coach that has success behind him and hopefully I can develop as a player," he said.

"The indication Canberra have given me is if I can prove myself and stand out in Cup games then 'we'll give you a crack'. I know they've got established halves but if I can get that development under [coach] Ricky [Stuart], I can really challenge and try and get in front of them, or else just play consistent footy.

"But I don't mind attacking other positions whether it's hooker or half. I've just got to keep working hard for it."

Canberra are 13/20 to win their first game of the season against the Titans, who are 5/4.

Meanwhile, the Warriors have lost one of the contenders for their own hooking spot as Nathan Roache has been ruled out for the entire season.

The 21-year-old has been booked in for surgery on a lumbar disc injury next week and is unlikely to return to the field this year.

Roache, the club's 2016 rookie of the year, suffered the setback after returning from a ruptured Achilles tendon injury which ended his 2017 season in August last year.

NZ Warriors are 7/5 to win their first game of the season against South Sydney, who are 29/50.

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