15 Aug 2013

Friend returns to Warriors

6:12 am on 15 August 2013

After it looked like he was leaving the Warriors, hooker Nathan Friend has now signed a new contract for the next National Rugby League season.

The rugged 32-year-old, known for his skills out of dummy half and his defence, will spend his third season at the Auckland club after signing a new contract for at least another year.

Friend's averaging almost 42 tackles a game and is the club's top defender this year with 793 tackles - sixth overall in the NRL, despite missing three games.

After missing the first three games this season following shoulder surgery, Friend will make his 18th consecutive appearance when he lines up in Sunday's must-win home game against Penrith at Mount Smart Stadium.

The Toowoomba-born veteran made his debut in the season-opening clash against Manly last year after stints with Brisbane, Melbourne and Gold Coast.

Friend is also a qualified personal trainer and a bricklayer by trade.