Warriors eye up Zac Santo to replace Tuimoala Lolohea

Zac Santo could make a move to Auckland soon.
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Zac Santo could make a move to Auckland soon.

The Warriors' search for a replacement for Tuimoala Lolohea has led them to the door of Zac Santo, from the Canberra Raiders.

The club is willing to let Lolohea leave to join up with either Wests Tigers, the Raiders or Cowboys once they have secured a player to take his spot, covering wing and fullback.

It's believed the 24-year-old Zac Santo is the player they've targeted to bring over, if he can get a release from his contract at the Raiders.

Tuimoala Lolohea has no shortage of suitors in Australia, and would be allowed to leave the Warriors mid-season if they ...
ASHLEY FEDER/GETTY IMAGES

Tuimoala Lolohea has no shortage of suitors in Australia, and would be allowed to leave the Warriors mid-season if they secured a replacement first.

Santo has played just three NRL games, one for the Cowboys in 2014, one for the Raiders last year and again in the first game of the current season, where he scored a try playing at fullback, against his former club.

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Santo was named at fullback in the NSW Cup team of the year last season and was in the Raiders' squad for this year's Auckland Nines.

Clearly Santo won't be expecting to become the first-choice fullback at the Warriors, given that it's the position captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck plays in, but he will provide decent cover for him there and can play on the wings.

Santo wouldn't be on much money at the Warriors, but if he's willing to to push for a spot in the first grade team from the reserves, while retaining a good attitude, he could be a handy pick up for the club.

Santo, who is of indigenous Australian and Vanuatuan descent, was on a scholarship with the Queensland Reds rugby team when younger.

In December 2015, Townsville Blackhawks coach Kristian Woolf, who Santo played under in the Queensland Cup while in the Cowboys' system, said he believed Santo had what it took to make it in the NRL.

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"I think he's very capable of playing first grade down there," Woolf said.

"He's not a very big bloke [174cm, 84kg] but he's very powerful for his size and is very quick.

"He's probably been a bit unlucky being stuck behind some good outside backs [at the Cowboys] who haven't had a lot of injury.

"There's been plenty of players once they got that chance, they get to be a regular. Obviously Kyle [Feldt] did that and I have no doubt Zac can do the same."

 - Sunday News

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