Season Preview 2017 – New Zealand Warriors

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New Zealand WarriorsThere’s more question marks hanging around the Warriors going into the 2017 season than thirsty people around a chilly bin full of Lion Red on a balmy 23 degree NZ Summer day.

Will Kieran Foran be given the go ahead to play?

After having his issues in 2016, it remains to be seen when the NRL will let Foran back into the game. But he’s been doing everything he can to show he’s on the right track (and not at the race track). It’s been a whole couple of months since he’s let anyone launder money through his TAB account. When he meets up with his brother Liam they no longer play high stakes dice games. He even worked part time at a jewelry store, learning that diamonds are more than just a card suit. With the his father being the CEO of Walmart, Kieran also spent some time in middle America taking of photos of fat Seppo’s shopping and starting a blog called “People of My Dad’s Work”

What is the diameter of Stephen Kearney’s face?

Exactly the size of a large Hell pizza.

Is it going to be awkward having the old coach stick around to be the assistant?

Besides stoned teenagers trying eat his face, assuming it’s a super supreme pizza pie, new coach Stephen Kearney has many challenges. The Warriors coaching job in recent times has had about as much stability as a wooden shanty in Christchurch (too soon?). The complicating factor is that old coach Cappy McFadden has been kept on the coaching staff! Maybe Cappy can act professionally, but in my view that would have been like John Key asking Helen Clark to stick around and be part of his cabinet. Have the Warriors board been smoking dots?

Will RTS bounce back?

After only playing in 7 games last year, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is basically like a new recruit in 2017. Coach Kearney stamped his dominance on the team by stripping the captaincy from Simon Mannering and giving it to RTS. Some say Kearney thinks RTS will flourish with the added responsibility, others says he just wanted to make the KeptinMannreng Twitter account obsolete. Whatever the reason, rugby league fans are all glad we’ll get to watch Roger again and even if the ACL injury has made his step 50% worse, that is still better than 98% of every other player.

What will happen with Charlie Gubb?

Wellington born Gubb is a cult hero amongst the Mount Smart faithful. It could be his giant mullet, it could be his aggressive playing style or it be the fact that he looks like a guy you could drink a couple of Mac’s Golds with. Rumours abound that 3 NRL clubs were after Gubb but the Warriors were hesitant to release him. Maybe they feel owed for fronting up his wages last year when he spent 7 weeks suspended. More than likely they have based their whole marketing strategy for the next 5-8 years on this quirky larrikin and can not afford to lose him.

Will Blake Ayshford get more than 5 games?

The Warriors have an absolute motza of outside backs (Lolohea, Kata, Fusitu’a, Vatuvai, Maumalo) and eyebrows are raised when humble toiler Blake Ayshford gets a run ahead of some of them. His game time will all depend on what sort of bargaining mechanism he has with the new coach. He had those compromising pictures of McFadden smoking Spice, but it’s yet to be seen if he has any blackmail worth material for Kearney. Maybe Matt Allwood does.

 

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