Warriors turn down replacement for Shaun Johnson

Author
David Skipwith,
Section
League,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 4 December 2018, 12:28PM
Broncos halfback and Kiwi international Kodi Nikorima was reportedly offered to the Warriors as a replacement for Shaun Johnson. Photo / Photosport.
Broncos halfback and Kiwi international Kodi Nikorima was reportedly offered to the Warriors as a replacement for Shaun Johnson. Photo / Photosport.

Broncos halfback Kodi Nikorima may be on the outer with new coach Anthony Seibold but the Kiwi international is almost no chance of joining the Warriors.

Nikorima is contracted to the Broncos until the end of 2020 but Brisbane's Courier Mail are reporting he was last week offered to the Warriors as a replacement for Cronulla signing Shaun Johnson.

Nikorima recently starred for the Kiwis during their end of year tour of England but the Warriors are unlikely to chase the 24-year-old and remain focused on developing their own young playmaking talent.

While Nikorima has plenty of ability, the Warriors don't see him as an ideal signing or long-term solution to their halfback problems.

"I'm not ruling anybody out of anything but he's not on our board (of halfback options)," said Warriors general manager football Brian Smith.

"He's not someone we've made a target."

As suggested by the Herald on Sunday, the Warriors could benefit from looking within their own ranks and throwing opportunities to untested rookie trio Chanel Harris-Tavita, Hayze Perham and new Penrith recruit Adam Keighran.

Johnson's early exit has given the Warriors a million dollar salary cap injection and while the club have not ruled out buying an experienced halfback they are more interested in bolstering other areas of their playing squad.

Warriors recruitment manager Peter O'Sullivan is in Sydney this week meeting with player managers and rival clubs to assess potential player options.

No new signings are expected before Christmas however and it may not be until mid to late January before there is any recruitment news out of Mt Smart Stadium.

Over the last month, Nikorima, along with Cowboys utility Te Maire Martin, Parramatta duo Mitchell Moses and Corey Norman, and Wests Tigers star Luke Brooks have all been touted as potential halfback options for the Warriors. Brooks yesterday recommitted to the joint-venture club with new coach and Kiwis mentor Michael Maguire convincing the reigning Dally M Halfback of the Year to re-sign on a four-year extension that will keep him at the Tigers until the end of 2023.

The Warriors so far remain uninterested in any of the other quartet and at this stage feel comfortable about providing teenage duo Harris-Tavita and Perham, along with 21-year-old Keighran, chances to impress through the Warriors' pre-season trials against Melbourne and Wests Tigers next February.

It's unlikely any will secure a fulltime halves spot alongside senior playmaker Blake Green, with versatile Kiwi international Peta Hiku the frontrunner to slot into five-eighth for round one.

The Warriors will open their season with a Saturday night match against the Bulldogs at Mt Smart Stadium on March 16.

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