Storm land Leutele, Knights nab Green

Melbourne have signed NRL premiership winner Ricky Leutele for the remainder of the 2020 season after he was granted an exemption by the league to hold two contracts.

The 30-year-old centre was left stranded in the UK after the withdrawal of Toronto from the Super League competition, and the Storm jumped through hoops to secure his signature.

Leutele's plan to join Storm for the remainder of the season was originally knocked back by the NRL, but they have since reconsidered.

When a path was cleared for the Sydney Roosters to sign superstar Sonny Bill Williams, an exemption was then granted for Leutele to join the Storm for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile New Zealand Warriors have released Blake Green for an immediate move to the Newcastle Knights. The Knights have recently suffered losses in the hooker department through season-ending injuries to Connor Watson and Andrew McCullough. While Kurt Mann has been playing well in the five-eighth role, he could be seen as a dummy-half option with five-eighth Green now joining the club

Newcastle will be 33-year-old Green's seventh NRL club, while he also spent four years in the Super League.

Warriors chief executive Cameron George confirmed the release, saying Green had informed his teammates of his departure early on Tuesday.

"Blake has requested through his manager for a release and that's been granted immediately," George said.

"He's a champion person and has been a great player for a long time and in recent years for our club.

"This decision with Blake heading off today might provide him with a further opportunity in the future ... we wish him all the best."

The Warriors had previously informed Green that he wouldn't be offered a new deal beyond 2020. He leaves the Warriors the day after interim coach Todd Payten turned down the coaching role.

Before joining the Storm camp, Leutele and his family will enter a mandatory two-week quarantine on the Sunshine Coast.

Ironically, Leutele has a long history of rivalry with the Storm.

He was part of the Cronulla side that defeated Melbourne 14-12 for the 2016 NRL premiership and his final match in the competition was against Storm in the 2018 preliminary finals.

Injuries to Paul Momirovski, Marion Seve and Brenko Lee have stretched Melbourne's depth in the backline, but Leutele will be a huge boost to the side.

The Samoan international played 129 NRL games for the Sharks, as well as 27 matches for the Wolfpack.

"He'll be a welcome addition. We had one more spot in our 30 and we've basically been waiting to see what position will fill that in," Storm general manager of fooball Frank Ponissi told WWOS radio.

"Just the last two weeks we've had every centre in the club injured, with Paul Momirovski being the most serious.

"We just thought that's a position with our outside backs where we need a bit of strength."