Since it appears we’ll make no reasonable signings for 2015. Who should we cut who’s off contract next year?
Blake Austin, Adam Blair, Jack Buchanan, Andy Fiagatusa, James Gavet, Dene Halatau, Matthew Lodge, Kyle Lovett, Joel Luani, Keith Lulia, Tim Moltzen, Pat Richards, Kurtis Rowe, Brenden Santi, Ava Seumanufagai, John Sila, Tim Simona
Austin will almost certainly receive an offer from another side so I doubt he’ll be here in 2016. Blair is just on way too much coin. Buchanan plods. Fiagatusa isn’t good enough. Gavet is too dumb. Halatau will retire. Lovett hasn’t shown much to suggest he’ll get a first grade contract. Luani and Lulia are meh. Moltzen is meh. Richards will retire. Rowe is meh. Sila is meh.
So I’d re-sign Lodge, Santi, Seumanufagai and Simona. Which really should leave us with a lot of coin to balance the squad properly.
I’d target durable types. With the players leaving from this list I’d be looking for the likes of Lamar Liolevave, Te Maire Martin, Del Hoeter, Nathan Milone, Matthew Woods, Jordan Grant, Salesi Funaki, Watson Heleta etc. to get elevated to miminum level NRL contracts to fill the squad and go after two durable and effective backrowers, as well as two speedy, sizeable outside backs who can play in the centres and on the wing.
I’m probably dreaming but I’d be targeting:
Landing 2 of these -
I’d be willing to splash out strong for Tupou as well. He is exactly the type of player we seem unable to produce. That tall, rangy outside back that dominates his opponent. Vidot would be a decent fall-back in that role. I had my eye on Ricky Leutele but he’s too much like our players, injury prone. These four don’t seem to have too many injury worries to speak of other than Tupou having a lengthy stretch this year because of a back injury. Not too much to speak of in the way of knee and shoulder recos or injuries growing up. I doubt we’d nab Croker or Nightingale as their clubs would consider them pivotal to their teams. Tupou we’d be a chance of landing because the Roosters will be cash strapped next year and with MacDonald now in the top grade I hear they have another gun young big outside back coming through who they’d see as an adequate replacement. It’s just a position the Roosters are well off in.
And 2 of these in order of preference -
The Roosters are ripe for the picking next year. They have the following off contract.
Remi Casty, Aidan Guerra, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Samisoni Langi, James Maloney, Rhyse Martin, Dylan Napa, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Jonathon Reuben, Jack Siejka, Siosiua Taukeiaho, Daniel Tupou, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Tupou, Napa, Guerra all probably looking for big upgrades and will struggle to get them with the rest of the players they’ll want to keep.
If we could magically land a few of these guys we’d have a much better, more durable and well balanced side.
I’m dreaming I know…