Villasanti Negotiates

Warriors prop Richard Villasanti has started contract negotiations with the New Zealand Warriors to secure a new two-year deal at the National Rugby League club.

The Warriors and Villasanti's management held discussions for the first time last week and are expected to hold a further round of talks on the Gold Coast this week.

Villasanti rose to prominence in last year's NRL campaign, forcing his way into the Kangaroos end-of-year tour to Great Britain and France, although he could not make the test lineup.

The Warriors are keen to retain Villasanti despite his faltering form on tour and his alleged involvement in a recent incident in Auckland where he was chased by police when in possession of an air rifle.

The hard-hitting Canberra-born prop joined the Warriors in 2001 after playing for Balmain and the Wests Tigers.

His current contract at Ericsson Stadium expires at the end of the season.

Last year he had been linked with a return to the Wests Tigers.