Hull contract falls through for Warriors centre
Dane Nielsen came close to inking a deal to move to Hull next season, only for it to fall through at the last minute.
The Warriors centre has another year left on his contract with the Kiwi club, but Fairfax Media understands they were willing to let the former Queensland State of Origin representative go early to join the English Super League side.
While Nielsen is back in the starting team, and will play against the Sea Eagles today, it's arguable that he's been a success at the Warriors.
In order to bring him to Auckland, the Warriors had to use up a significant part of their salary cap and, as he's still signed with them for another year, it's likely they'll have to continue to pay a proportion of his wages in 2015.
Although Ngani Laumape is playing on the wing today, the Warriors have been delighted with how he's gone at centre this season and he should be back playing there soon.
Konrad Hurrell has cemented one of the centre spots at the Warriors for the foreseeable future and with Matt Allwood joining the club from the Raiders next season, the club are well stocked in those positions.
Warriors general manager football Dean Bell, wouldn't confirm that Nielsen could have gone to Hull but said he hoped Allwood's story next year would be similar to Chad Townsend's this season.
Townsend was a bit-part player at the Sharks, spending most of his timein the NSW Cup, but given the opportunity to play in the NRL at the Warriors he's been a great success.
"It's a similar vein, he's on the up," Bell said of Allwood.
"He's a player that Andrew [McFadden, Warriors coach] knew quite well when he was at the Raiders, even when he was a young player coming through, Andrew kept an eye on him.
"He knows what he's capable of and he was pretty keen to get him as part of our squad."
Talk that Steve Matai could be coming to the Warriors next year is wide of the mark.
The club were interested in him back in April, but the Sea Eagles didn't want to let him go. After that, the Warriors went for Allwood.
Bell says they're not avidly pursuing any players for next season, but if an interesting offer comes along they'll take a look.
"We're always interested, but we're pretty happy with the squad we've got," Bell said.
"At this time of the year there is sometimes a bit of movement and agents are looking at moving their players on, foreseeing that their player won't be a part of the squad the following year or whatever.
"If that happens it put us in a position to look at other players, but at the moment we're pretty happy. It's not like we're actively looking for anyone."
Rather than recruit journeymen from Australia, the Warriors would prefer to give opportunities to the young, talented players developing in their system.
"We've got to make sure we've got room for some young kids coming through," Bell said.
"Tuimoala Lolohea looks like he's a player of real potential, Sam Lisone is coming through, as is Solomone Kata.
"They're players in three different positions, and we've got to make sure we have room for our young kids to get opportunities, so it's not just about filling the squad with senior players all the time."