One of the leading stories today is the Warriors pursuit of Aucklander Jason Taumalolo who is the NRL's equivalent of #BeastMode. The reported figures are 2 years for a chilly milly each season, which is about par for what Taumalolo will be looking at. Big money, but it's not just a case of the Warriors breaking the bank for a big name, Taumalolo is a rare breed and he'll be one of the most sought after recruits in the NRL.
Speed, size and footwork to rival Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Taumalolo is the new breed of NRL player. I'm not sure whether it's the mission objective of the Warriors to throw their name in to the hat for every big name NRL player or whether there is a strategy here ... it definitely doesn't look like there's much of a strategy. Every big name NRL player that is on the market has had the Warriors lurking in the shadows and the news that the Warriors pursuit of Taumalolo went public was interesting to say the least.
The Herald reported that the news came from the Daily Telegraph/Courier Mail, so I just across the ditch to have a look at that and yup 'Exclusive'. But Taumalolo's manager Gavin Orr gave completely different quotes to both the Herald and the Daily Telegraph, not giving a whole lot to the DT but talking up the offers that Taumalolo has. In the Herald, he questioned where the DT got their information about the Warriors offer from ... but that "But, yep, they certainly put an offer in and it is certainly a very good offer and Jason and his family are very much considering it."
Clearly Orr is playing the agent game, talking it up to get the best offer down but the financial aspect of this won't be the key. The Cowboys won't be able to offer Taumalolo the same dosh as the other clubs, but they are perfectly set up for a few years at the top. The Warriors won't be able to offer the same dosh as the likes of the Roosters and other Sydney clubs, they haven't got the same pulling power with third party deals and what not.
If Taumalolo takes the big money from Sydney, he'll be leaving home in Townsville where he has been since moving from Auckland as a teenager and turning his back on the Cowboys who brought him there. If he ignores the Warriors to move to Sydney, he'll be giving up the chance to move his family back to Auckland.
This isn't the only big player movement entertainment that's being played out in the media with Trent Merrin, Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran all doing the rounds. We're getting the fun and games that agents play put in the headlights and it's pretty funny.
It's not crazy to think that the Warriors leaked information of their trip to Townsville. They need to drum up some headlines and you're very, very naive if you think that teams and agents don't leak information.
Personally, I don't think the Warriors need to add anyone to their team to win they just need a bit of an attitude shift but obviously getting a big name would be nice. But what's if Foran, Merrin and Taumalolo all turn the Warriors down? That's got to be great for your self esteem huh?
Sooo.... other stuff in sport....
Well, as usual the news out of Aotearoa is pretty plain. Will Richie McCaw retire? Yes.
The government is going to fund some more boat racing? Cool....
At least we can count ourselves lucky that we don't have a former player like Shane Warne being a constant distraction. The Aussies have Shane Warne, the English have Geoffrey Boycott and the Black Caps have no one. Thank god, jah, allah and buddha.
Two draws this morning in the Champions League with Chelsea nabbing an away goal against Paris Saint German, finishing 1-1. Bayern Munich couldn't do better than a 0-0 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk with Xabi Alonso leaving the turf with a red card in his 100th Champions League game.
Tomorrow we've got Basel vs Porto and Schalke vs Real Madrid.
Tomorrow we've also got a press conference from the UFC to discuss the rather rampant use of performance enhancing drugs after Anderson Silva test positive. It's been a rough few weeks, despite it being a great few weeks with some great fights as Jon Jones tested positive for cocaine and Silva's opponent Nate Diaz tested positive for the herb. The herb isn't anything negative, but it's not wise to use it close to a fight, same with cocaine but I don't really care about those positive tests.
The PED aspect though is a worry. I've refrained from writing about it to see what the wash up is and with the UFC about to front questions tomorrow, we should have a better insight.
The one and only Mark Hunt will offer some great news for us MMA fans down under, he's going to fight Stipe Miocic in Adelaide. May 16, mark it down people and get in behind one of the best heavyweights in the business.