Bronco Joel Moon – the player earmarked to solve the Warriors playmaking woes – is the club’s fourth choice halfback-in-waiting.
Sunday News can reveal three other potential replacements for halfback flop Grant Rovelli turned the club down flat.
Cronulla star Brett Kimmorley, rising Newcastle talent Luke Walsh and former Bronco Casey McGuire – now shining in the Super League with French outfit Catalans Dragons – all passed on the opportunity to play in Auckland.
McGuire, a former team-mate of Warriors star Brent Tate at Brisbane – got as far as talking numbers with club management before opting to re-sign with the Dragons for two more years.
"I seriously thought about signing with the Warriors and moving to New Zealand," he told Sunday News.
"It took me quite a while to decide what to do but I sat down with my family and made the decision to stay in France.
"I think the idea was to sign me to play in the halves. I’m not sure whether I was going to be halfback or standoff."
Kimmorley, meanwhile, who has now signed a deal with the Bulldogs, knocked the Warriors back because he wanted to stay in Australia, as did Walsh.
News the three players snubbed the Warriors when they came knocking does not surprise Sunday News' league analyst Matthew Ridge.
"You are always going to struggle to attract top players to your club when you have a rookie coach and a team that's underperforming," said Ridge.
"The Warriors are going to struggle next year again because they haven't been able to sign marquee players."
Moon has played predominantly in the centres for the Broncos but wants to take on a playmaking role at the Warriors next year.
Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah said he was excited about Moon's talent but refused to say whether Rovelli is now on the outer at Mt Smart Stadium.
"Moon will have every opportunity to play in the halves," Scurrah said. "Grant's still playing and this is only a sign of our desire to strengthen the squad and add competition to all spots."
Meanwhile, Castleford boss Richard Wright has admitted his club is in the hunt for departing Warriors legend Wairangi Koopu.
"We are still looking at him with a view to next year," Wright said.
Another departing Warrior, Logan Swann, is yet to receive a Super League offer but Sunday News understands his agent, Frank Endacott, is in the UK talking to clubs.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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