It isn’t quite like the big time US sports where players get traded at a moment’s notice but here are five trades that would make sense from a Warriors perspective.
Konrad Hurrell for Ricky Leutele (Sharks)
Both players are a similar age and would command a similar salary.
At his best Konrad Hurrell is a luxury. He’s a bulldozer who can run over the top of opponents but offers very little else. Admittedly he is pretty good at running over people and has the ability to break games open with his brute force. He’s also quicker than people realise, which adds momentum to that force. In a Warriors side that is choc-full of players that can break a game open he is a luxury they don’t need and a liability on the other side of the ball. A side like the Sharks however could possibly use a bit of extra fire power. They possess a team that can grind out games but are lacking a bit of polish on the end of it. Leutele offers the Warriors a strong defensive centre and a guy who is good getting out of dummy half. Many experts have compared him to a young Steve Matai.
Manu Vatuvei for Dale Copley (Broncos)
This trade would see the Warriors get younger, saved some cap space and become a more rounded side.
Vatuvei is the Warriors all-time try scoring leader and has been the face of the club over the last few years. While letting go of the popular Vatuvei would upset many fans, a hard-capped league calls for ruthless decisions and the fact is that Vatuvei’s best days are now behind him. That isn’t to say he is headed for the scrap heap – just that the Warriors can afford to move him on in a bid to get a player that will help them moving forward and to get some cap relief to spend in other areas. Copley wasn’t required in the Broncos run to the Grand Final this year but can play either wing or centre and has shown a solid all-round game in his 70-plus games in first grade. Injuries have bothered him this year but he has plenty of upside at just 24. The Broncos lose strike power with the retirement of Justin Hodges so Vatuvei’s try-scoring and game-breaking ability out wide could be a major boost.
Sione Lousi for Martin Taupau (Tigers)
This is a far-fetched trade but not beyond the realms of possibility.
Kiwis enforcer Taupau wants to leave the Tigers by all accounts and the Sydney club could do with some cap relief. A disgruntled player is never a good thing particularly for a club that is already dealing with the Robbie Farah situation. While on the face of it the Tigers would lose in a big way, they could use that cap space for bigger concerns in other positions. Lousi is on the outer in Auckland and could be a cheap option for the Tigers that allows the club to strengthen those other areas but still make an attempt to replace Taupau. Taupau is off-contract at the end of 2016 and will command a big contract upgrade but the money saved on the Vatuvei deal should cover the extra dollars needed for the Warriors to sign Taupau.