NRL Australia

The perfect replacement for Kieran Foran at the Warriors

With the departure of Kieran Foran to the Bulldogs at the end of the season, it leaves a hole to fill in the halves for the Warriors moving forward in 2018. It has been rumoured that Te Marie Martin is somebody that the Warriors are keen on signing as their replacement. But, in desperate need of some experience and direction, is getting a young player who hasn’t played much NRL and does share some similarities to Shaun Johnson, the right move going forward?
With a young and inexperienced backline with players like Maumalo, Nicoll-Klokstad, Kata and Fusitu’a. Adding another young and inexperienced player in the halves, doesn’t seem like it is the right move. With not many options available on the open market, there is a player who seems to be out of favour with his current club and would be the perfect buy for the Warriors. Trent Hodkinson.
Having spent time under one of the best coaches in the game in Des Hasler at the Sea Eagles in 2010 and then at the Bulldogs from 2011 to 2015. Hodkinson joined the rebuilding Newcastle Knights in 2016 and was made one of the co-captains as soon as he arrived. Last month however, he got dropped to reserve grade in favour of a younger Halfback in Jaelen Feeney
So with the Knights seemingly moving forward in a different direction, Hodkinson could become available. Hodkinson would bring a wealth of experience, having played 146 NRL games and was the Halfback for NSW Origin team in 2014, which is the only series that NSW have won in the past decade. Hodkinson is a intelligent Halfback, who has a great kicking game and great game control. He would bring a good balance to the halves alongside Johnson, he would be able to relieve Johnson of some pressure and would guide and control the side around the park on the back of his kicking game. Not only would he benefit Shaun Johnson, but he would also be a great asset and mentor for the junior halves coming through. Without Hodkinson, the Bulldogs have looked lost in their attack and direction, hence why they signed Kieran Foran.

Having already signed Tohu Harris and promising forward Leivaha Pulu for 2018, whilst losing Kieran Foran, Ben Matulino, Tuimoala Lolohea and reportedly have told Ryan Hoffman he can look elsewhere. Yes, there is a ton of talent with the likes of Tuivasa-Scheck, Johnson, Fusitu’a, Vete, Afoa and many others. But, there is still a need for experience and a need for a new halves partner for Johnson, and Trent Hodkinson would be the right man for the job. Signing Hodkinson won’t automatically turn the Warriors into a premiership force, but he would bring nothing but positives to the club that could build towards long-term success.
At 28, Hodkinson still has a lot to offer a club. With a hole to fill in the halves at the Warriors, why not go for someone like Trent Hodkinson? Who is experienced, has played rep footy, who knows what it takes to win and can help with the development of juniors. It just makes sense!
Luke Waskowski

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