General Best Warriors recruits of all time

Toookey

Toookey

A bit of off season fun!

As lots of threads are coming up re: old players it got me thinking - who's the best recruit we've ever had.

You can answer this any way you chose - biggest name were drawn to the club, or the player who's had the biggest impact on the club.

Steve Price is a big one for me - crazy to think this was almost 20 years ago

James Maloney was another one - relative no name when he arrived and was only here a short while but helped get us to the big dance.

Interestingly - we've had maybe 3 of the biggest names in our history in the last few years - Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Addin Fonua-Blake and Tohu Harris (arguably top 3-5 in their position when they signed) yet very limited success.

Discuss!
 
Wade McKinnon was one of my favourite signings, great fullback and a real pity he suffered injuries while at the club. Maloney one of the best all time signings for any club in terms of value for money. Price possibly highest profile and ran for massive metres, seriously underrated in any all time great props discussion.
 
Warrior number one Dean Bell.

That was the moment I knew it was real, shit was happening, and people were prepared to come here.

Bell doesn't get the recognition he deserved as a Captain and player. He signed for one season, knowing he was too old to take a longer contract. How refreshing would that be in this day and age?

I say Bell was underrated because he was a brilliant defender and organizer of that back line, something seriously under appreciated by warriors fans, this was in an era where Centre was the primary defensive player in the RL systems, not back rowers, centres.

Bell had the Mana.

He was a mans man in RL and tougher than anyone, and therefore the perfect first signing to lead a new and shakey NRL franchise.

Like I said at the top, he has my eternal respect for walking away from a one year extension.
 
Agree with all the guys mentioned above. Would add Michael Luck along with James Maloney, Brent Webb and Wade Mckinnon as the top guys, didn't break the bank at all but were stars for us. Diamonds in the rough. Anyone can sign a star on a big contract, so Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Price, Wiki and the likes don't make it on my list.
 
Without a doubt in my mind the second most important signing was Stacey Jones, no long post about him, his football does all the talking.

Then Kevin Campion.

Same as Jones, too much has been said already.

If you could find two similar signings now....you would have a team that refuses to back down...in Campion and a team that will never stop trying to run down any lead against them in Jones.....two qualities any club in the world would kill for.
 
Wade McKinnon was one of my favourite signings, great fullback and a real pity he suffered injuries while at the club. Maloney one of the best all time signings for any club in terms of value for money. Price possibly highest profile and ran for massive metres, seriously underrated in any all time great props discussion.
I second Wade, I won't say he was our best signing - but he's still my favourite warrior.
 
I was going to say Wade (but see it has been done already) but he’s still the first that comes to mind. That one length of the field run in the black jumper where he beat 48 defenders (approx.) sticks in the mind for pure elation. He had an edge too that I liked.

Heart says Wade, head says Steve Price and or Ruben.
 
Another one worthy of a mention (not our best signing) is Villasanti. We don't sign many non-rep Australians who then go on to play for the kangaroos.

(although we can do without the commentators calling him "Gorillasanti" on the back of a "jungle ball" sentence).
 
Without a doubt in my mind the second most important signing was Stacey Jones, no long post about him, his football does all the talking.

Then Kevin Campion.

Same as Jones, too much has been said already.

If you could find two similar signings now....you would have a team that refuses to back down...in Campion and a team that will never stop trying to run down any lead against them in Jones.....two qualities any club in the world would kill for.
Stacey was ours anyway. Kevin Campion I would rate a little above Dean Bell, and I would rate Dean with Ivan Cleary. Just IMO
 
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Huge fan of Luck, always gave it 100%. Limited player but you knew what he was going to do each week.

Lillyman was a good honest toiler as well and have a number of years of good service. PJ Marsh was a big reason behind our success in 2002 and 2003, we don’t go as far as we did.
 
This thread probably needs a poll. I was thinking something like this would be good to create some discussion over the off season.

Some were here a short time frame and had a big impact on our on field performance like Campion, Marsh. Or provided some good highlights like Mckinnon.

Others were here longer and provided consistency like Price, Luck and Lillyman.
 
Kevin Campion for sure.

Not only for his toughness but for the fact he held his teammates accountable by not accepting short cuts and in doing so raised standards and helped change the general consensus at that time of "just stick with the Warriors for the first 30 and they'll blow out after that."

I remember hearing one training story when he first got here, it was just a warm up running around cones and after a few rounds of seeing guys cut inside the cones taking short cuts (which apparently was quite the norm) stopped the run, lost his shit and laid down the law, apparently standards raised across the board overnight as the whole outfit realized this guy was the real deal.

Incredibly important for the young super talent that was coming through at the time i.e the Toopi's, Meli's, Fa'afili's ,Ali's etc.

As far as onfield performance goes it would be hard to go past Steve Price and Michael Luck, Pricey would churn out 200 metres + a game for fun it seemed, no Warriors team ever had to worry about go forward whenever he was involved, so consistent.......as was Michael Luck with not only his 50+ tackles a game but his effort on effort plays to always be plugging gaps and pushing from the inside......i know he ended up having a profound influence on probably Warriors most consitent player ever.....Mr Simon Mannering.

Also loved the guys that seemingly came from nowhere with no expectations yet ended up giving us great value - Robbie Mears, Jason Death, Jimmy Maloney.
 
When Wiki and Price signed, it seems like most fans were frothing over the Wiki signing over Price. To me Wiki was OK. Prob bought a bit of mana into the side, but his best days were behind him and his performances were over shadowed by Price who played some of his best games in a Warriors jersey. Also lets not forget that Wiki was dropped to reserve grade, and probably deserved a longer stint in reserve grade than he actually received. Our propping depth was polar opposites to what it is today though.

This was the team when he was dropped:
New Zealand Warriors: Lance Hohaia, Michael Crockett, Brent Tate, Jerome Ropati, Aidan Kirk, Nathan Fien, Grant Rovelli, Sam Rapira, Ian Henderson, Steve Price (captain), Simon Mannering, Sonny Fai, Micheal Luck. Interchange: Evarn Tuimavave, Epalahame Lauaki, Logan Swann, Russell Packer, Ben Matulino (18th man).

Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/league/461192/Wiki-forced-to-prove-form-in-reserve-grade
 
My top 5 would be the following. The order could change.

Cleary
Price
Campion
Luck
Lillyman

Campion and Luck left it out on the field. Really typified what we should be trying to implement as being a "Warrior". Hard work, not the most talented but get by on pure guts.

Lillyman isn't a favourite of a lot of people. He was here a long time and got moved from second row/lock to front row and was here for a long time.
 

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