Infotainment Factory: Warriors await arrival of 'great buy' Nikorima

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Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Warriors await arrival of 'great buy' Nikorima


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Senior Warriors players have dismissed Kodi Nikorima's patchy form for Brisbane and described the halfback's looming mid-season arrival as a "great buy" for their NRL club.

Speculation is firming that the 25-year-old Kiwis international will be released by the Broncos before the weekend and be on the Warriors' books in time to play against St George Illawarra in Brisbane next week.

Coach Stephen Kearney was giving little away on Wednesday, reiterating only that Nikorima was always in his sights for 2020 and beyond.

Any contract-busting movement this season would be determined by the player and Broncos management, Kearney said.

The Warriors have reportedly offered Nikorima a $500,000 per season deal until the end of 2022, which would be a considerable upgrade.

Young half to make Broncos debut

The club stated at the start of the season it wouldn't make any premature move to spend the salary cap money freed up by Shaun Johnson's off-season departure until they were sure they had the right player in their sights.

However, a 2-5 start to the season and injury problems for veteran halfback Blake Green have seemingly prompted the approach to a player whose form at Brisbane has been scrutinised.

The Broncos' starting No.7 for a second-straight season, Nikorima has been accused of lacking game management skills and boasting a running style of play which is too similar to halves partner Anthony Milford.

That sort of assessment is wide of the mark according to Warriors hooker and Nikorima's Test teammate Issac Luke.

"I think it genuinely is going to be a great buy for the club," Luke said.

"He's an experienced player who's played a lot of international footy. He's played well for Brisbane as well.

"He's going to challenge a lot of the boys if he does come, especially in the halves and even my area too."

Bennett's blunt reaction over Seibold 'bad blood'

Green relished the chance to link with a player who was among the best New Zealand performers during the 2-1 Test series loss to England late last year.

"He's the Kiwi No.7 mate, the best halfback you've got in the country," Green said.

"He's a very good player. If that eventuates, it eventuates."

Both Luke and Green wouldn't criticise the performances of rookie Warriors half Chanel Harris-Tavita, who would make way for Nikorima.

The 21-year-old has shown glimpses of talent when given the daunting task of running the game in the past three weeks without injured veteran Green.

Kodi Nikorima and Anthony Milford

Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold admits he couldn't guarantee Kodi Nikorima a future at the NRL club beyond 2020 as the halfback considers an immediate long-term move to the Warriors.

Nikorima was pulled from Thursday's highly-anticipated match against Wayne Bennett's South Sydney as he ponders a shift to Auckland.

Seibold said on Wednesday he understood Nikorima's predicament.

"Kodi had an option in his favour for 2020, he wanted to see what else was out there," Seibold said.

"As a club we could only guarantee 2020; we wanted to have a look at our options going forward as every club does.

"As I'm sure has been reported the Warriors have offered him a substantial financial deal for four years ... he's taking a couple of days to go through that process."

- AAP

Senior Warriors players have dismissed Kodi Nikorima's patchy form for Brisbane and described the halfback's looming mid-season arrival as a "great buy" for their NRL club.

Speculation is firming that the 25-year-old Kiwis international will be released by the Broncos before the weekend and be on the Warriors' books in time to play against St George Illawarra in Brisbane next week.

Coach Stephen Kearney was giving little away on Wednesday, reiterating only that Nikorima was always in his sights for 2020 and beyond.

Any contract-busting movement this season would be determined by the player and Broncos management, Kearney said.

The Warriors have reportedly offered Nikorima a $500,000 per season deal until the end of 2022, which would be a considerable upgrade.

Young half to make Broncos debut

The club stated at the start of the season it wouldn't make any premature move to spend the salary cap money freed up by Shaun Johnson's off-season departure until they were sure they had the right player in their sights.

However, a 2-5 start to the season and injury problems for veteran halfback Blake Green have seemingly prompted the approach to a player whose form at Brisbane has been scrutinised.

The Broncos' starting No.7 for a second-straight season, Nikorima has been accused of lacking game management skills and boasting a running style of play which is too similar to halves partner Anthony Milford.

That sort of assessment is wide of the mark according to Warriors hooker and Nikorima's Test teammate Issac Luke.

"I think it genuinely is going to be a great buy for the club," Luke said.

"He's an experienced player who's played a lot of international footy. He's played well for Brisbane as well.

"He's going to challenge a lot of the boys if he does come, especially in the halves and even my area too."

Bennett's blunt reaction over Seibold 'bad blood'

Green relished the chance to link with a player who was among the best New Zealand performers during the 2-1 Test series loss to England late last year.

"He's the Kiwi No.7 mate, the best halfback you've got in the country," Green said.

"He's a very good player. If that eventuates, it eventuates."

Both Luke and Green wouldn't criticise the performances of rookie Warriors half Chanel Harris-Tavita, who would make way for Nikorima.

The 21-year-old has shown glimpses of talent when given the daunting task of running the game in the past three weeks without injured veteran Green.

Kodi Nikorima and Anthony Milford

Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold admits he couldn't guarantee Kodi Nikorima a future at the NRL club beyond 2020 as the halfback considers an immediate long-term move to the Warriors.

Nikorima was pulled from Thursday's highly-anticipated match against Wayne Bennett's South Sydney as he ponders a shift to Auckland.

Seibold said on Wednesday he understood Nikorima's predicament.

"Kodi had an option in his favour for 2020, he wanted to see what else was out there," Seibold said.

"As a club we could only guarantee 2020; we wanted to have a look at our options going forward as every club does.

"As I'm sure has been reported the Warriors have offered him a substantial financial deal for four years ... he's taking a couple of days to go through that process."

- AAP

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