Veteran utility Shaun Berrigan would be the perfect fit for the Canberra Raiders according to former premiership-winning teammate Ben Ikin.
The Raiders are in discussions with the versatile 32-year-old for next season, with the New Zealand Warriors unlikely to offer him a new deal unless a clause in his contract is activated.
Berrigan needs one more appearance to guarantee him another season with the Warriors after he was overlooked for last night’s preliminary final win against the Melbourne Storm.
Ikin spent five seasons alongside Berrigan at the Brisbane Broncos, including the premiership-winning campaign of 2000, and believed the Raiders would reap the rewards of adding the former Kangaroos and Maroons representative to their roster.
”He’s one of those guys who ends up being a coach’s favourite and ends up being a player’s favourite because he works harder than any bloke I’ve ever played with off the field in terms of his preparation,” Ikin said.
”He prides himself on his fitness and works himself to a standstill.
”That’s why coaches love having him in their side and why players love playing with him.”
He’s played 19 games this season – one shy of the 20-game mark which will automatically guarantee him a deal for 2012.
Berrigan’s strength is his ability to fill a wide range of positions.
He’s been used at centre and hooker for the Warriors this season, but can also play in the halves.
Retired Raiders captain Alan Tongue said that versatility and Berrigan’s superb track record made him the ideal candidate to bolster a revamped squad.
It’s unclear how long the Raiders intend to sign Berrigan for, although a one-year deal appears most likely.
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