With the 2018 season drawing nearer, we will begin to look at how each team is shaping up for the season ahead.
Today, we take a look at the New Zealand Warriors – and what their best 17 looks like.
New Zealand Warriors 2018 Player Movements
|2018 Gains: Gerard Beale (Cronulla Sharks, 2020), Adam Blair (Brisbane Broncos, 2020), Manaia Cherrington (Cronulla Sharks, 2018), Anthony Gelling (Wigan Warriors, 2018), Blake Green (Manly Sea Eagles, 2020), Tohu Harris (Melbourne Storm, 2021), Peta Hiku (Penrith Panthers, 2020), Karl Lawton (Gold Coast Titans, 2019), Matiu Love-Henry (Brisbane Broncos, 2018), Agnatius Paasi (Gold Coast Titans, 2019), Leivaha Pulu (Gold Coast Titans, 2020), Zac Santo (Canberra Raiders, 2018)|
|2018 Losses: Matthew Allwood (released), Erin Clark, Bureta Faraimo (Hull FC), Kieran Foran (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Charlie Gubb (Canberra Raiders), Ata Hingano (Canberra Raiders), Ryan Hoffman (Melbourne Storm), Jacob Lillyman (Newcastle Knights), Tuimoala Lolohea (Wests Tigers), Ben Matulino (Wests Tigers), Ofahiki Ogden (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Toafofoa Sipley (Manly Sea Eagles), Bodene Thompson (Leigh Centurions), Manu Vatuvei (Salford Red Devils)|
|Re-Signed: Blake Ayshford (2019), James Gavet (2019), Shaun Johnson (2019), Mason Lino (2019), Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (2019), Nathaniel Roache (2020), Ligi Sao (2019), Patrick Sipley (2018), Lewis Soosemea (2019), Albert Vete (2019), Joseph Vuna (2019)|
|Off Contract 2018: James Bell, Manaia Cherrington, Anthony Gelling, Matiu Love-Henry, Issac Luke, Simon Mannering, Ken Maumalo, Junior Pauga, Zac Santo, Patrick Sipley, Jazz Tevaga|
2018 Predicted Lineup
- Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
- Gerard Beale
- Peta Hiku
- Solomone Kata
- David Fusitu’a
- Blake Green
- Shaun Johnson
- Agnatius Paasi
- Issac Luke
- Adam Blair
- Leivaha Pulu
- Tohu Harris
- Simon Mannering
- Sam Lisone
- Albert Vete
- Bunty Afoa
- Ata Hingano
Coach: Stephen Kearney
Reserves: Mason Lino, Nathaniel Roache, Ken Maumalo, James Gavet.
The Big Question: There are a few. Will Tohu Harris catch the Warriors bug – where he’s all but reduced to a shadow of his former self? Has Stephan Kearney been able to instil a more hardnosed culture in camp New Zealand this off-season? Have they worked out the perfect formula on how to travel?
Predicted Finish: 16th
Authors Note: Same may very well believe that a predicted finish of 16th is a little too harsh – and I agree, the New Zealand Warriors are a team capable of a top-four finish – but I’ve officially lost all faith in this football side; who season after season continually field a team on paper which is capable of a top-four finish. In all reality though, they’ve missed out on playing playoffs footy for six years. Their finish in 2017 was possibly their worst yet. With a spine featuring Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Kieran Foran, Shaun Johnson and Issac Luke; the 13th position was far from respectable.