Kieran Foran is probably gone and Ben Matulino looks like he won’t be in Auckland next year either. Those two are likely to be the start of a high player turnover for the Warriors this year. With that in mind kiwileaguecentral.com takes a look at a few players coach Stephen Kearney could target for 2018.
Leivaha Pulu (lock, prop – Gold Coast Titans)
Pros: Has shown himself to be a consistent performer for the Gold Coast, Pulu is versatile and has a gritty approach to the game.
Cons: His offload-happy style wouldn’t fit in with the current plan set out by Kearney.
Chance: Very good
Leivaha Pulu is back in town with the Titans. We get the lowdown on his meteoric rise. (@PhotosportNZ).
— KiwiLeagueCentral (@KiwiLeague) April 1, 2017
Nelson Asofa-Solomona (prop – Melbourne Storm)
Pros: A huge human being who would add some size to what is a fairly small forward pack.
Cons: He’s young and untested away from excellent playmakers like Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith, who can make even average forwards look amazing.
Alex Glenn (second-row – Brisbane Broncos)
Pros: Glenn is a creative back-rower who plays a very different style to the likes of Simon Mannering and Bodene Thompson. He would add a genuine attacking threat on his edge of the field.
Cons: Hasn’t played his best footy for a couple of years now and is struggling to keep his place in the Brisbane side right now.
Chance: Very good
Brenton Lawrence (prop – Manly Sea Eagles)
Pros: Has some nice footwork and speed at the line which can make him quite effective despite not being a typical metre-eater type of prop.
Cons: He will be 33 by the end of the year and you aren’t going to get too much more out of him at NRL level.
John Asiata (prop, second-row, lock – North Queensland Cowboys)
Pros: A technically-gifted forward, who Kiwis standoff Thomas Leuluai last year rated as one of the best young players in the NRL. Asiata has a nice mix of power and skill.
Cons: He’s played his whole career with a talented and successful North Queensland side, there’s no evidence to show how he would play in a struggling side like the Warriors.
The pass from John Asiata!
— NRL (@NRL) April 15, 2017
Sam Tagataese (prop – Cronulla Sharks)
Pros: An experienced campaigner with 11 seasons in the NRL behind him, his presence could really help the young Warriors’ propping group.
Cons: He would be 31 by the time he arrived and would likely come off a season where he played mostly in reserve grade.
(Main photo: Leivaha Pulu. Credit: photosport.nz).