Warrington open talks with Ben Murdoch-Masila over new deal amidst NRL interest

Warrington say they have had ‘no contact’ regarding a move to the NRL for Ben Murdoch-Masila: and expect him to remain with the club in 2020 and beyond after beginning talks over a new deal.

The Tongan forward has attracted plenty of admirers Down Under following his impressive displays for his international side in recent weeks. It has been reported in Australia that several NRL clubs are lining up a move for the former Salford man following his recent performances.

“I’ve had two approaches already and am expecting some more in coming days,” Murdoch-Masila’s manager, Mario Tartak, told Australian media. “He has been killing them in England.”

However, Wolves chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick has played down those suggestions, telling League Express that any enquiry for the 28-year-old would immediately be rejected.

He said: “We have had no contact from any NRL club – and any approach would be rebuffed. Ben is part of our long-term plans and dialogue with his agent regarding an extension have been positive.”

Fitzpatrick also said the presence of Murdoch-Masila’s wife, Roxy, in the Wolves’ women’s team is also another key factor in why they expect the player to remain at Warrington.

“It is also worth noting that Ben’s wife captains our women’s team here and they have just been promoted to Super League for 2020. She is keen to lead the girls during next season’s campaign.”

The Wolves are one of two new teams – alongside Huddersfield – to join the Women’s Super League in 2020, and after the Wire won the Championship Grand Final, they will now play in the top-flight for the first time.

Warrington women’s coach Lee Westwood said: “It’s fantastic to have been promoted to the Women’s Super League after a very successful year in the Championship.

“We look forward to playing the other Super League teams over at the Asics Stadium, which is one of the best facilities in the town, and one that the ladies made their home last season.

“We will continue to run under the Foundation next year, which allows us to continue the growth of both the women’s and girls’ games in the Warrington area, after a very successful first season both on and off the field.”