Rugged NSW State of Origin forward Mitch Barnett will stay with NZ Warriors through the 2027 NRL season, after extending his contract with the Auckland club.

Barnett, 30, was previously signed on a three-year deal until the end of 2025, but became an indispensable piece of the Warriors line-up that reached last season's preliminary final and are riding a three-game winning streak into their soldout home game against Melbourne Storm on Saturday.

His 2024 form saw him included in the Blues squad for the Origin opener at Sydney last week. Barnett was especially prominent when an injury-stricken Warriors outfit upset Penrith Panthers and the Dolphins with a line-up littered with reserve-grade performers and frontliners playing out of position.

"Mitch absolutely epitomises toughness, resilience and leadership," said Warriors coach Andrew Webster. "Whether he's in the front row or on the edge, he gives the team everything and more.

"Through the tough period we endured, Mitch was the glue. He worked so hard and really deserved his Origin call-up. 

"He ticks all the boxes. The harder it gets, the better he gets.

"Of the field, he's a tremendous influence on the group and shows so much passion for the club. We love him."

Barnett will make his 157th NRL appearance and 29th for the Warriors against Melbourne Storm on Saturday, after previously playing with Canberra Raiders and then Newcastle Knights.

"I needed a bit of a change," he admitted. "My form and my career were stalling a bit at Newcastle, and I wanted to test myself and get out of my comfort zone.

"I wanted to come here to show my value."

Join Newshub at 7:30pm Saturday for live updates of the Warriors v Storm NRL clash

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