General Toopi off to Wigan?

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warriors4life_old

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https://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=4&ObjectID=10376667

Clinton Toopi is in the sights of Wigan Warriors and is understood to have been offered a lucrative deal - thought to be $1m over two years - to join the UK side in 2007.

The 26-year-old Kiwis centre is off contract with the Warriors at the end of the season and could be keen for a change after seven seasons at Ericsson Stadium.

Toopi was close to being back to his best in last year's Tri-Nations after two disappointing seasons, and it's little surprise he's attracted interest among Super League clubs.

NRL sides are finding it increasingly difficult to compete with big money being offered in the UK. The Warriors lost prop Iafeta Paleaaesina to Wigan last season for reportedly $500,000 a year.

Toopi was recently the centre of speculation during the salary cap debacle and said there had been "definite interest" from other clubs when it was suggested the Warriors might have to offload players to get under the salary cap.

Agent Frank Endacott said it was too early to talk about Toopi's future. "There are rumours but that's all they are," said Endacott, who will be travelling to the UK in June to talk to Super League clubs about a number of his players.

Warriors CEO Wayne Scurrah wasn't aware of Wigan's interest but wasn't surprised Toopi was being targeted by a Super League club.

"I know he would be pretty popular over there but he's certainly in our sights," Scurrah said. "It comes down to how the competitive the marketplace is. We would like to think we are competitive but we can't underestimate what the UK clubs might offer."

If Toopi has been offered $500,000 a year, that may well be significantly more than the Warriors' salary cap will stand, accepting that their top players have reportedly been on about $400,000 a year.

Toopi is just one of at least seven Warriors coming off contract at the end of 2006, with the futures of Brent Webb, Tony Martin, Sione Faumuina, Awen Guttenbeil, Evarn Tuimavave and Epalahame Lauaki also up in the air.

Webb is already weighing up a possible switch to rugby union and has also reportedly courted interest from the new Gold Coast Titans, who join the NRL in 2007.

The Warriors are also hamstrung in their planning by not knowing exactly what the salary cap will be set at for 2007.

One player they have apparently re-signed, however, is veteran prop Ruben Wiki. It's understood Wiki has signed a one-year extension to his deal that was due to run out at the end of 2007, which will fend off any expected Super League interest.

The Warriors wouldn't comment on Wiki yesterday but he comes off contract at the end of next season, potentially leaving them short of experience in the forwards.

The 33-year-old Wiki is also viewed as someone who could move into coaching and player development when his playing days are over.
 

warriors4life_old

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If this is true about Toopi then we probably will struggle to keep him, no surprises that Brent Webb is testing the market too.

Great to see Ruben add another year onto his contract, I think he wants to be in the World Cup in 2008.
 

IanS_old

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Wigan are bottom of the Super League ladder and playing like crap from all accounts. It will be some very easy money for Clinton if he goes.
 

jono_t2000_old

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Thats a good questoin, but he might have a get out clause or something that means he doesnt have to sign for them if they are relegated.

In my opinion if we have a good season I dont think we will see Clinton leave, at least to England anyway. He has said repeatedly that he genuinely loves playing for the Warriors just as much as he loves playing for the Kiwis.

But who knows what will happen in the end.
 

Iafeta_old

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To my way of thinking, Faumuina, Webb, Guttenbeil, Tuimavave are must keeps.

Not sure what will happen with Toopi, I suggest he'll be offered a much reduced deal to stay here to comply with the cap - it's fairly cheap living in NZ by way of property in comparison to either Australia or the UK plus he has the family here too.

I'd suggest it'll come down to his young daughter - does he want his young daughter to spend her defining years in New Zealand, or to experience a different culture overseas?
 

Northern_Union

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Iafeta said:
To my way of thinking, Faumuina, Webb, Guttenbeil, Tuimavave are must keeps.

Not sure what will happen with Toopi, I suggest he'll be offered a much reduced deal to stay here to comply with the cap - it's fairly cheap living in NZ by way of property in comparison to either Australia or the UK plus he has the family here too.

I'd suggest it'll come down to his young daughter - does he want his young daughter to spend her defining years in New Zealand, or to experience a different culture overseas?

Have to disagree on Guttenbiel, i think his best is behind him.

Toopi i believe will stay because he is now getting back to his best. Interesting times ahead.
 

*Kimmy*_old

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How can wigan afford all these players for like $1m over 3 years...does the ESL not have a salary cap??
 

Iafeta_old

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He's been in the top 3 performers for the Warriors without question the last couple of games - those performances haven't differed too much in his performances over the past year since about round 12.

RS, got to also consider he is the only Warrior who is able to pick up a $100,000 exemption due to being a 10 year player if he stays, IE, you pay him $150,000, only $50,000 goes on the salary cap. You pay him $100,000, and effectively he's a freebie.
 

Iafeta_old

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Go_The_Doggies said:
How can wigan afford all these players for like $1m over 3 years...does the ESL not have a salary cap??

I heard somewhere that the ESL salary cap is basically 50% of your operating revenue, which makes powerful and well sponsored clubs like St Helens, Bradford and Wigan eternally strong and the strugglers like Harlequins eternally weak. Silly system IMO, yes it keeps clubs afloat and promotes good management, but its not a level playing field which is supposedly what a salary cap is about.
 

*Kimmy*_old

Guest
Iafeta said:
Go_The_Doggies said:
How can wigan afford all these players for like $1m over 3 years...does the ESL not have a salary cap??

I heard somewhere that the ESL salary cap is basically 50% of your operating revenue, which makes powerful and well sponsored clubs like St Helens, Bradford and Wigan eternally strong and the strugglers like Harlequins eternally weak. Silly system IMO, yes it keeps clubs afloat and promotes good management, but its not a level playing field which is supposedly what a salary cap is about.
Thats silly imo.
I hope Toopi stays :)
 

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