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2018 Predicted Lineup: New Zealand Warriors

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
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2018 Predicted Lineup

  1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
  2. Gerard Beale
  3. Peta Hiku
  4. Solomone Kata
  5. David Fusitu’a
  6. Blake Green
  7. Shaun Johnson
  8. Agnatius Paasi
  9. Issac Luke
  10. Adam Blair
  11. Leivaha Pulu
  12. Tohu Harris
  13. Simon Mannering
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  14. Sam Lisone
  15. Albert Vete
  16. Bunty Afoa
  17. 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?

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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.

11 COMMENTS

    • haha Agree Gavet definitely in the squad. Was by far the best forward last year.
      By the middle of the season Roche will also surpass Luke. If he can stay injury free I believe he will become the best hooker in the game (once Cam Smith retires of course)

  1. I would have Roach as my starting rake. Sign Tooves or Maguire as coach and a Brian Smith type as football manager.

    This club needs a huge clean out

  2. No Gavet is a joke. id say it will look more like this
    1.RTV 2.Fusitua 3.Ayshford/Kata 4.Hiku 5.Beale 6.Green 7.Johnson
    8.Gavet 9.Luke 10. Pulu 11.Tohu 12.Mannering 13.Blair
    14.Roache 15. Paasi 16. Vete/Lisone 17. Love Henry

    • I think Mannering’s days on the edge are over. He is far more effective in the middle. Hardly noticed him all world cup on the edge. Love henry looked pretty good in the trial, hopefully he comes on well

  3. Yeah bro I think Blair should be 13 too, big question mark is on Gelling. followed him at wigan hes got the goods to be in there some where.

  4. No Gavet get off it. Tohu Harris is a specialist left side second rower so he will wear 11. Fusitua is also a left side specialist and will wear 2. As for the forward It’ll look more like

    8. Paasi
    9. Luke
    10. Gavet
    11. Harris
    12. Mannering
    13. Blair

    14. Hingaro/Roache
    15. Lisone/Vete
    16. Pulu
    17. Afoa

    Mannering will help cover Johnsons and Katas terrible defence hopefully and Fus Hiku Harrus and Green should make an awesome left side. As for in the middle, think they will roll with there 3 biggest blokes, Gavet is a must after this good year, Blair is a marquee signing (all be it a crap signing) and Paasi ands some size and has good skills for a big man.
    Off the bench, Pulu proven he provides impact in the second row and Lisone/Vete compete against each other for the prop spot. And Afoa gets the last bench spot as he can play front row and back row and Love-Henry and Pappali are mainly second rowers. Sao is to lazy and just not good enough for contention.

    Still have far to many back for me (Ayshford, Maumalo, Gelling, CNK and young guns) better off getting rid of one or two and getting more of a hard working grinder for the bench

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