The Canberra Raiders today confirmed the signing of New Zealand representative player Corey Harawira-Naera on a deal that will see him join the club for the rest of the 2020 season until the end of 2022.
Harawira-Naera was involved in a pre-season sex scandal in Port Macquarie which saw the NRL de-register his contract with the Canterbury Bulldogs in April.
That decision was overturned by the NRL Appeals Committee earlier this month, and instead Harawira-Naera was handed a backdated 10-game suspension which finished last round.
He had the opportunity to return to the Bulldogs, but decided he wanted out and opted for a fresh start to continue his career at the Raiders.
Raiders CEO Don Furner said he was excited by the signing of Harawira-Naera, who will be joining the club shortly.
“Corey is a very talented player who’s played representative football for New Zealand and we’re looking forward to having him join the club for the next two-and-a-half years,” Furner said.
“He will join the squad for training once he’s been cleared by the Apollo committee and then it’s up to the coaching staff to work out when he may play his first game for the club.”
The Raiders have experienced a plethora of long-term injuries to their forwards, so the signing of the 25-year-old backrower comes at an important time for the club as they make a push towards finals.
The signing also gives the Raiders a quality replacement for John Bateman who will leave the club after this season finishes to return to England.
As part of the deal, Harawira-Naera will not be able to play against the Bulldogs when the two clubs go head-to-head in round 16.
The announcement is extra sweet for the Raiders after the Bulldogs confirmed the signing of Raiders junior Nick Cotric earlier this week on a lucrative three-year deal.
The Raiders have also been heavily linked to young Broncos forward Ethan Bullemor, who is expected to join the club next week for the rest of the season on a loan deal.