Rugby League

NRL set to entertain Warriors bid for player loan to boost forward stocks

The Warriors have received cautious support from NRL clubs as they intensify the push for a loan player to bolster their injury-wracked roster.

Coach Stephen Kearney remains hopeful of borrowing a middle forward from one of his rivals, despite the Warriors’ first request being rebuffed last weekend following a spate of injuries.

The ARLC had planned to discuss the viability of a loan on Thursday next week, just two days out from the Kiwi club’s return to action against St George Illawarra in Gosford.

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Kearney wants a decision before then and Warriors chief executive Cameron George has pushed the game’s bosses hard this week.

Retired forward greats Paul Gallen and Sam Thaiday have publicly volunteered to play for the Warriors in their time of need, given the sacrifices made by the Warriors to base themselves in Australia.

Kearney has also received private offers from some other former Broncos but wouldn’t take up the retired player option until the NRL had made a loan ruling “over the next few days”.

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Kearney resisted criticising the initial NRL knock-back but said the situation had now become “critical” following another serious injury on Monday, to utility back Adam Keighran.

They signed young Canberra forward Jack Murchie on a rushed one-season contract on Thursday but still require more squad depth.

Kearney stressed any loan would likely be on a short-term basis and the player would be rated outside the top-20 at the affected club.

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He wouldn’t confirm reports the Warriors have rookie Dragons prop Eddie Blacker, 20, in their sights.

Dragons coach Paul McGregor had “heard some whispers” about one of his players speaking to the Warriors.

McGregor said any loan would need to be in the best interests of the club and the player concerned.

“It can’t be a negative on the team, club or player himself. He’s got to want to do it,” McGregor said.

The Warriors train at Central Coast Stadium.Source:AAP

“And then things like who looks after the player if he gets injured, the payment of the player … there are a lot of things that haven’t been talked about.

“But if it all aligns well and is the best benefit to everyone, I’ve got no problem with it.” North Queensland counterpart Paul Green agreed, saying there was a willingness to help the Warriors, within reason.

“They have made a few sacrifices as a club and if they need help we have to look at how we can help them across the board,” Green said.

“There is also the risk of injury, we are on reduced squads, everyone has only got 32 players, there’s also that to consider.”

Originally published asNRL set to entertain Warriors bid for player loan to boost forward stocks

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