General No more major signings, Vuna gone, Guttenbeil gone

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warriors4life_old

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From stuff.co.nz

By STEVE KILGALLON

Don't expect any more major signings from the Warriors for 2007 - the club's major recruitment seems over.

Fullback Wade McKinnon, the much-anticipated signing from Parramatta, may be the only established first-grader the Warriors bring in for next season.

The club is chasing only two more outside signings and both are likely to be young lower-graders who will provide depth rather than be starters.

Pace is next on the recruitment agenda, but while players such as the former Queensland wing Chris Walker and Wests Tigers' premiership winner Shane Elford remain on the market, the Sunday Star-Times understands the Warriors are looking at Roosters' teenager Michael Lett for the vacancy.

Lett, a 19-year-old wing, is a former Australian Schoolboys player who played three first grade games last year, and the Warriors are assessing his potential to break through. They had also considered St George Illawarra fullback Jason Nightingale before he re-signed with the Dragons.

"We're looking for someone with a bit of speed - ideally someone who can play a few different positions (in the backline)," said coach Ivan Cleary. "At this stage, we might need one or two (more signings), but we won't rush into anything."

Salary cap limitations and re-signing the majority of their off-contract players has restricted the Warriors' spending power.

CEO Wayne Scurrah said the Warriors were monitoring the late-season form of several players, not just in the NRL but also the Bartercard Cup and the NSW Premier League (reserve grade).

The other signing the club ideally want to make is a standoff, but the paucity of available players there means the club is now likely to stick with Jerome Ropati at No 6 for next season.

"I don't think there are any out there, that's the problem - I don't think we are the only club looking for one," said Cleary. "And if Jerome keeps improving at the rate he has been, then, no (we won't be replacing him at six). It depends on who we get but at this stage he is looking like first choice."

Cleary confirmed the Warriors expect to release wing Cooper Vuna and prop George Tuakura, who haven't played first grade this season, but hadn't made a final decision.

But it seems unlikely centre Clinton Toopi has much chance of securing an early release to join Leeds. "I don't see how we can let him go," said Cleary. "We're pretty thin (in the backs) and he is still well and truly in the frame."

Toopi admitted making the switch to Super League now was "at the back of my mind". He added: "But at the moment I want to fight my way back into the Warriors team."

Cleary said losing Awen Guttenbeil had become a financial, not a playing decision: "I'd love to have him."

Meanwhile, the Star-Times understands the relationship between the Warriors and influential player-agent Jim Banaghan has hit a new low.

The Warriors signed an extended deal with Epalahame Lauaki without any discussion with Banaghan, instead negotiating directly with the prop.

It raises more questions over how the Warriors will deal with the Brisbane-based Banaghan over other players on his books, which include Nathan Fien and Louis Anderson.

Tickets go on sale this week for the Tri-Nations, ranging from $20-$65 for the Kiwis' home matches.

The Australian Rugby League (ARL) said tickets for the October-November tournament also involving Great Britain would go on sale to season ticketholders tomorrow and to the public on Wednesday.

The tournament opens with a match between the defending champion Kiwis and Australia at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium on October 14.

Tickets range from $20 for the grass embankment to $65 for the upper grandstand.

Prices range from $25-$65 for the Kiwis' other home matches, against Great Britain at Christchurch's Jade Stadium on October 28 and the same opponents at Wellington's Westpac Stadium on November 11.
 

warriors4life_old

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Looks like Vuna and Guttenbeil are gone, good to see we are looking at some talented, young players for depth though.
 

warriorfaithful*_old

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warriors4life said:
Looks like Vuna and Guttenbeil are gone, good to see we are looking at some talented, young players for depth though.

Yeah sad to see awen go but like you said we are trying to bring up and make another kiwi superstar.
 

KeepingTheFaith_old

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I'd like to know the reasons for letting Vuna go. It must have something to do with attitude/off field reasons.

They are skinny in the outside backs so they release Vuna?

They want someone with speed so they release Vuna?

They want to promote and develop young kiwis so they start looking at young australians and release Vuna?

As for Awen it's a sad thing. We must be right on top of our salary cap if we can't afford him considering he gets that discount for being a 10 year player.
 

JonB_old

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we haven't really got better this off season, actualy I think we have down graded
 

Esoj_old

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well due to the salary cap problem this was always going to happen really. it is a shame that guttenbiel has to be let go though as he is an experinced player.

I don't think it is fair to say we have downgraded at all. most of the current squad has been re-signed and we got wade for a bargin price. it would be nice to get a 5/8 but there is a real lack of them out there at the moment.

to think we were going to sign several big names is just rediculious and because we didn't we have downgraded is also in my opinion rediculious. sure we have lost players but we have also signed or re-signed a good amount too.
 

AmeriKiwi_old

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Sad to see a player like Guttenbeil leaving the team, but it`s good to see Ivan`s making the most of the young talent we do have on the team.
As far as downgrading goes, I agree with Esoj. The last 4 games proves the team is moving up, not down, and next year will see even better results.
 

Iafeta_old

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I understand Cooper Vuna hasn't really performed that well in Bartercard this year.

Michael Lett is a good player if they get him.
 

Iafeta_old

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He's played three first grade games I think.

I've seen him in a couple of Premier League games when we've played the Chookies. He seems a pretty good player. Not withstanding he's an Australian schoolboy too which is a fair achievement.
 

2big2strong_old

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what i am sttrrruuggling to comprehend is how the hell are we teetering on the salary cap?????????

we've got a cheaper fullback next season, get a discount on gutts and we still can't afford him??? BS! and no 'star' players! sure we've got great players but look at brisbane or st george with 10 origin reps each! this is ridiculous. i think there's something fishy going on.
 

Skinny_Ravs82

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What's so hard to understand? I mean I guess I know what they mean. It annoys me too but again what can we really do. They have their reasons for making this decision and not chasing after too much of a first grader...seriously Chris Walker??!?! No don't thinks so. Shane Elford...I have no idea but he's ok I guess. I agree that alot of the time we do lack a bit of depth in positions esp our backline suffers. Do you all remember last year when Webby went down his back problem? Although we stuck Roptai there and he didn't an ok job he isn't/wasn't what you call the tru back up. And at times we had problems there. I know people then thought Toopi had gone there but considering how his form was that was a scary thought. Hence in 07, if anything was to happen to Mckinnon we'd have perhaps one or two other players to cover. Same with the centers and wingers (also we seem a little low there..but you get my drift).
 

Paul Holmes_old

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Skinny_Ravs82 said:
What's so hard to understand? I mean I guess I know what they mean. It annoys me too but again what can we really do. They have their reasons for making this decision and not chasing after too much of a first grader...seriously Chris Walker??!?! No don't thinks so. Shane Elford...I have no idea but he's ok I guess. I agree that alot of the time we do lack a bit of depth in positions esp our backline suffers. Do you all remember last year when Webby went down his back problem? Although we stuck Roptai there and he didn't an ok job he isn't/wasn't what you call the tru back up. And at times we had problems there. I know people then thought Toopi had gone there but considering how his form was that was a scary thought. Hence in 07, if anything was to happen to Mckinnon we'd have perhaps one or two other players to cover. Same with the centers and wingers (also we seem a little low there..but you get my drift).
I hardly ever get your drift..
 

Iafeta_old

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2black2strong said:
what i am sttrrruuggling to comprehend is how the hell are we teetering on the salary cap?????????

we've got a cheaper fullback next season, get a discount on gutts and we still can't afford him??? BS! and no 'star' players! sure we've got great players but look at brisbane or st george with 10 origin reps each! this is ridiculous. i think there's something fishy going on.

We had to defer some payments to 2007 to be under the salary cap for 2006.

Also remember we upgraded contracts to the likes of Mannering, Vatuvei etc.
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
2black2strong said:
what i am sttrrruuggling to comprehend is how the hell are we teetering on the salary cap?????????

we've got a cheaper fullback next season, get a discount on gutts and we still can't afford him??? BS! and no 'star' players! sure we've got great players but look at brisbane or st george with 10 origin reps each! this is ridiculous. i think there's something fishy going on.

I know we've only signed four players so far, (McKinnon, Kirk, Packer 1 and Packer 2), but we've also upgraded and/or re-signed a whole host of players: Mannering, Vatuvei, Lauaki, Rovelli, etc etc etc.
 

Skinny_Ravs82

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Paul Holmes said:
Skinny_Ravs82 said:
What's so hard to understand? I mean I guess I know what they mean. It annoys me too but again what can we really do. They have their reasons for making this decision and not chasing after too much of a first grader...seriously Chris Walker??!?! No don't thinks so. Shane Elford...I have no idea but he's ok I guess. I agree that alot of the time we do lack a bit of depth in positions esp our backline suffers. Do you all remember last year when Webby went down his back problem? Although we stuck Roptai there and he didn't an ok job he isn't/wasn't what you call the tru back up. And at times we had problems there. I know people then thought Toopi had gone there but considering how his form was that was a scary thought. Hence in 07, if anything was to happen to Mckinnon we'd have perhaps one or two other players to cover. Same with the centers and wingers (also we seem a little low there..but you get my drift).
I hardly ever get your drift..

:p then don't read if you don't get it! gee, it would make you less complicated man. The simple turn of what I said: nothing wrong with looking for depth in positiions. I was using the Webby injury as an example. that other bit before t hat was just that I'm not keen on us chasing chris walker but we aren't really looking at 1st graders now apparently
 

sebastian_old

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I can't believe we chose Hame over Awen, DESCRACEFULL!!! Long term this, long term that. He's done crap all to earn a contract, crap all & the joke is he takes more off our cap than Awen!!

Jim Barnhead sounds like he'll might try & stuff up Fien & louies contract, trying to influence them, Barnhead suck one if you think your gonna F#ck with my team.

Micheal Lett is a flyer, sign him!! And don't let'em tell you theres no decent 5/8 in preimier league & the queensland cup up for grabs, cause thats crap. Look at the back of RLW every week in the reserve grade section & you'll see what i mean, theres always articles on good players looking for a contract.
2b2s i think they are being el cheapo, there probably try'in to save money after the 500,000 fine they paid whitch is wrong because the NRL funds all the money to buyplayers. The club pays crap all.
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
sebastian said:
I can't believe we chose Hame over Awen, DESCRACEFULL!!! Long term this, long term that. He's done crap all to earn a contract, crap all & the joke is he takes more off our cap than Awen!!

It takes two to tango, Seb. Awen may not have wanted to stay, and I can't blame him. If I was in his position, I'd be looking for a higher paying contract to finish off my career.
 

sebastian_old

Guest
Jesbass said:
sebastian said:
I can't believe we chose Hame over Awen, DESCRACEFULL!!! Long term this, long term that. He's done crap all to earn a contract, crap all & the joke is he takes more off our cap than Awen!!

It takes two to tango, Seb. Awen may not have wanted to stay, and I can't blame him. If I was in his position, I'd be looking for a higher paying contract to finish off my career.

True, i guess i took Awens wanting too stay at the Warriors for granted.
 

jahc_old

Guest
sebastian said:
I can't believe we chose Hame over Awen, DESCRACEFULL!!! Long term this, long term that. He's done crap all to earn a contract, crap all & the joke is he takes more off our cap than Awen!!
Think about it for a second.. Guttenbiel is playing great but he is nearing the end of his career, and Hame is only just beginning his. I'd prefer to keep them both, but they've had to choose between those two and I think they've made the right choice for the future. Listen to all those people who are upset about young Warriors leaving and becoming great at other clubs. For once they're actually taking a gamble on our young talent.

I thought Hame was showing shades of Lauititi in his last game before he tore his pectoral muscle. Hitting the line, tying up 3 defenders, then offloading and creating some good second phase play.
 

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