Who do you think we should target and how do you think we should get them? We’re unlikely to be a draw card in terms of immediate premiership success, so money and opportunity are going to be our main tools.
I think we need to add experience and stability to the back row. As usual the Panthers are overstocked there:
Bryce Cartwright (2018) - should be an 80 minute player by the end of the season
Chris Grevsmuhl (2018) - joins them next year and can play prop or second row
Trent Merrin (2018) - is best played at lock for a solid 65-70 minutes per game
Tyrone Peachey (2017) - no reason he can’t play big minutes and is probably not going to be happy stuck as a utility
Elijah Taylor (2016) - needs to be used as an 80 minute tackling machine or you’re wasting him
I would target Elijah Taylor with a reasonably generous offer and the opportunity for a guaranteed 80 minutes at lock. He’s by no means a star in attack but you’ll rarely get less than 40 tackles a game out of him, and at good efficiency. We’ve invested in potential to deliver us superstars in attack, we need to surround that potential with solid, professional players and Taylor is that in spades.
More generally I think Manly are a good club to target. They’ve hit the player market heavily this off season and they’re going to feel the sting from that over the next year or two. They’ve got a lot of players coming off contract this year and while they’ll be happy to let quite a few go (like Mateo), they will want to lock up Liam Knight long term and that’s going to cost them. Jorge Taufua and Jamie Buhrer might become available with a decent offer and I think they would both be improvements to our current squad.