The New Zealand Warriors are a club with plenty of contract questions to answer on the run to the 2025 season getting underway.
The 2023 preliminary finalists who surprised the NRL have found themselves in a position with 13 spots to fill, but they won't know which way they are realistically getting until they get answers over a number of stars futures.
Will Shaun Johnson and Tohu Harris retire is the biggest question facing the Warriors, but then the lesser questions of salary cap to upgrade and extend the likes of Jackson Ford and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, as well as whether they can retain Luke Metcalf, who is sure to be chased by a number of Australian clubs.
That will all pave the way for the Warriors to understand their state of play, something they aren't going to know on November 1, which could make recruitment quite tough for the Auckland-based outfit, not to mention the usual issue around their location.
That said, in this series, Zero Tackle are running the rule over every club and their top five targets for November 1
Current squad for 2025
Bunty Afoa, Tom Ale, Mitch Barnett, Wayde Egan, Addin Fonua-Blake, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Edward Kosi, Ali Leiataua, Te Maire Martin, Marcelo Montoya, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Marata Niukore, Adam Pompey, Demitric Sifakula, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Ronald Volkman, Dylan Walker
Current best 17 for 2025
1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
2. Edward Kosi
3. Adam Pompey
4. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
5. Marcelo Montoya
6. Te Maire Martin
7. Chanel Harris-Tavita
8. Addin Fonua-Blake
9. Wayde Egan
10. Mitch Barnett
11. Marata Niukore
12. Demitric Sifakula
13. Dylan Walker
14. Ali Leiataua
15. Tom Ale
16. Bunty Afoa
17. Ronald Volkman
Here are five players available to negotiate on November 1 from outside of the club the Storm could target for 2025 and beyond.
5. Jordan Riki
A New Zealand-born second-rower, Riki is a player who constantly flies under the radar at the Broncos, despite now having 67 matches under his belt.
A crucial part of the side this year who made their way to the grand final, and a three-time Maori All Stars representative, Riki may be looking for a fresh start in 2025 to fully recognise his talents, and right now, the Warriors would be an enticing prospect for any Kiwi given the way they played under Andrew Webster in 2025.
There is little doubt the Broncos are in a real salary cap crunch. They have some enormous contracts for players at the top end of town, and Riki is one player who could be demanding an upgrade.
Sometimes, reading into the reasons why players haven't re-signed before November 1 is a dangerous game, but this time, it seems spot on. Riki is holding out to see his worth.
And he will be worth plenty, particularly to a club like the Warriors where there are real questions over their ability to retain Jackson Ford, and their depth in the second-row otherwise is skinny as it stands for 2025.