General Big money deal for top of the props

warriors4life_old

Guest
From nzherald.co.nz

By Michael Brown

He admitted to being somewhat star-struck by the Russell Crowe factor but Roy Asotasi might also have been overwhelmed by the dollar signs when signing with the struggling South Sydney Rabbitohs recently.

In the changing face of the NRL, Asotasi is one of an increasing number of props who are at the top end of the pay scale.

The 24-year-old joined the Souths revolution headed by new owners Crowe and Peter Holmes a Court after signing a five-year deal worth a reported A$450,000 a season.

This is a staggering increase on his present deal at the Bulldogs, worth about $150,000 a season, and he could have earned even more had he taken up an offer with English Super League club St Helens.

Not that long ago, halves and fullbacks held the pre-eminent positions within the game but while players the calibre of Andrew Johns, Darren Lockyer and Mark Gasnier will always be influential and well-paid, they are being joined by the big men.

Steve Price and Ruben Wiki are considered two of the best props in the business and, as such, are the two biggest earners at the Warriors.

Eyebrows were raised when the Warriors went to the marketplace midway through 2004 and spent huge money on two props. While you can dispute the merits of that policy - especially with Stacey Jones' imminent departure - you can't dispute the pair have been value for money.

Both are believed to be on between $550,000 and $600,000 a season, which means the club is forking out close to 25 per cent of its salary cap on just two players. As a result, they've had to sacrifice the likes of Brent Webb to remain under the cap.

Similarly, the Bulldogs had to let five-eighths Braith Anasta go to the Roosters at the end of last season to ensure they hung on to Willie Mason, widely regarded as the most punishing forward in the game. Mason has played prop for Australia and New South Wales recently and his massive deal is another reason why the Dogs couldn't afford to retain Asotasi for the 2007 season.

"Teams are realising it's pretty important to have a good forward pack and it's led by your front row," Price said. "Halves, hookers, fullbacks and front rowers are very important to your team. You can have solid players in every other position but you need to be strong in key areas. Much like in the halves, when a good prop comes on the market, everyone jumps over each other to get one."

The Warriors certainly jumped to grab Price and Wiki as part of a goal to rebuild a side around the pair and there were a few clamouring for Asotasi, considering he turned down the Roosters, Wests Tigers and St Helens to sign with the Rabbitohs.

Asotasi represents a new generation front rower. The position of prop has morphed in recent times, with the belly brigade having been replaced by a leaner, more athletic model.

Although rumbling the ball up is still important, props also need to offload, tackle and cope with the pace of the modern game.

Wiki, a former centre and second-rower, and Price, also a former second-rower, are both listed at 106kg, while Asotasi weighs in at 103kg.

Brisbane's Shane Webcke has even trimmed down to cope with the limited interchange law which allows only 12 changes.

"In the '90s, you had your Shane Webcke and Glenn Lazarus-type players who were bullocking runners but now you need a good mix of athleticism and skill," Price explained. "Your Martin Langs can't survive in the game any more."

Lang was famous for his trademark front-end smashes, seeming not to care for his personal welfare but at the same time never considering the option of an offload or sidestep.

Price has produced big hits and busting runs lately and the former Bulldog has earned a reputation as the game's premier charge-down specialist, something that requires speed off the mark and anticipation - two skills not normally associated with the front row.

What also sets him apart from most props is his endurance which allows him to average 60 minutes a game and sometimes last the full 80.

Compare that to most props, including Asotasi and Wiki, who play closer to 45 minutes as part of a three-man rotational propping system.

Price and Wiki won't be around forever but the Warriors have a succession plan in place.

The club hopes Evarn Tuimavave, Sam Rapira and even 16-year-old Russell Packer will eventually replace the illustrious duo.

If they do, they should expect to be paid handsomely for their troubles.
 

warriors4life_old

Guest
Although Wiki and Price have been brilliant in their time for us, I think it's a bit rich to be paying them almost quarter of the salary cap, especially when they wouldn't renew Brent Webb's contract trying to keep the balance of the team by not paying too much for one player.
 

Tajhay_old

Guest
warriors4life said:
Although Wiki and Price have been brilliant in their time for us, I think it's a bit rich to be paying them almost quarter of the salary cap, especially when they wouldn't renew Brent Webb's contract trying to keep the balance of the team by not paying too much for one player.

you dont know what you are talking about. the old management signed price and wiki. the new management has to adjust to this, and as a result know that they need to have balance in the team. Thus they cannot afford to have 35% of their salary cap on three players...........

anyone who justified signing webb for the banded figure of 350 has no clue about business.
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
Tajhay said:
warriors4life said:
Although Wiki and Price have been brilliant in their time for us, I think it's a bit rich to be paying them almost quarter of the salary cap, especially when they wouldn't renew Brent Webb's contract trying to keep the balance of the team by not paying too much for one player.

you dont know what you are talking about. the old management signed price and wiki. the new management has to adjust to this, and as a result know that they need to have balance in the team. Thus they cannot afford to have 35% of their salary cap on three players...........

anyone who justified signing webb for the banded figure of 350 has no clue about business.

Plus, unless one of us happens to be the accountant for the Warriors, we don't know for sure what their money books say. They may not be earning as much as is suggested in that article.
 

D Generation X_old

Guest
warriors4life said:
Although Wiki and Price have been brilliant in their time for us, I think it's a bit rich to be paying them almost quarter of the salary cap, especially when they wouldn't renew Brent Webb's contract trying to keep the balance of the team by not paying too much for one player.
yea i know
 

warriors4life_old

Guest
Tajhay said:
warriors4life said:
Although Wiki and Price have been brilliant in their time for us, I think it's a bit rich to be paying them almost quarter of the salary cap, especially when they wouldn't renew Brent Webb's contract trying to keep the balance of the team by not paying too much for one player.

you dont know what you are talking about. the old management signed price and wiki. the new management has to adjust to this, and as a result know that they need to have balance in the team. Thus they cannot afford to have 35% of their salary cap on three players...........

anyone who justified signing webb for the banded figure of 350 has no clue about business.

Yes, but if the old management was still in office (big if) would they have renewed Webb's contract? Well, we'll never know but I would probably say that they could look along the same lines as their successors and try to keep "the balance of the team." Therefore, they cannot cut Webb because of salary cap implications and "trying to keep the balance of the team" when they fork out a quarter to two highly paid players.
 

warriors4life_old

Guest
Jesbass said:
Tajhay said:
warriors4life said:
Although Wiki and Price have been brilliant in their time for us, I think it's a bit rich to be paying them almost quarter of the salary cap, especially when they wouldn't renew Brent Webb's contract trying to keep the balance of the team by not paying too much for one player.

you dont know what you are talking about. the old management signed price and wiki. the new management has to adjust to this, and as a result know that they need to have balance in the team. Thus they cannot afford to have 35% of their salary cap on three players...........

anyone who justified signing webb for the banded figure of 350 has no clue about business.

Plus, unless one of us happens to be the accountant for the Warriors, we don't know for sure what their money books say. They may not be earning as much as is suggested in that article.

Yes, the article may not have the correct figure, but its the only one we've got, so we have to take it at face value.
 

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