The rumour mill has been busy with reports Konrad Hurrell is set to leave the Warriors for the Gold Coast Titans after he missed NRL selection for tomorrow's clash against Wests Tigers.
Australian media are reporting the Warriors are in talks with the Titans to take Hurrell off their hands for the final three years of his contract on a deal worth more than $1 million.
Both Hurrell's manager and Warriors managing director Jim Doyle yesterday told the Herald there was no truth to the story, and Titans boss Graham Annesley has also denied the reports.
However, if the 24-year-old continues to languish in the NSW Cup he may be forced to explore his options and several other NRL clubs are said to be interested in his services.
The issue is clouded by the fact Hurrell is just months away from obtaining New Zealand citizenship and Sydney's Channel Seven news say he won't leave until that is secured.
"Konrad Hurrell looks certain to join Gold Coast this season, but won't leave the New Zealand Warriors until his Kiwi citizenship is done in a few months," said Josh Massoud from The 7th Tackle.
@TonyAdams_RLW Konrad is staying at the Warriors and is contracted until 2018.— Inventus Sports (@InventusSports) March 2, 2016
It might seem doubtful Hurrell would leave the Warriors to resurrect his career on the holiday strip at a club struggling on and off the park. But this is rugby league and stranger things have happened.
Morgan cracking the whip at the Warriors
New Warriors' defensive coach Justin Morgan has quickly earned a reputation as a hard task master as he works to implement new structures and improve the side's tackling mindset.
Morgan has been coming down hard on the players at training as they look to rectify the issues that arose in the Warriors' heavy trial defeat to the Dragons in Nelson.
Anyone giving less than 100 per cent has been on the receiving end of a verbal spray and left in no doubt as to what standards will be expected this season.
Mannering enjoying a low profile
Former Warriors skipper Simon Mannering was in good spirits at the club's season launch midweek and says he will come to appreciate having less responsibilities as the year progresses.
"When I don't have to go to a media conference after the game and can just sit in the sheds and have a yarn with the boys, or not have to go to Aussie for a day to do things, I'll definitely start feeling the benefits," said Mannering, captain for six seasons before standing down recently.
Penrith's perfect strangers
Rookie Panthers playmaker Te Maire Martin was living with relatives on Sydney's northern beaches but recently accepted an offer to move in with captain Matt Moylan.
The near two-hour car journey from Manly to Penrith proved too difficult through the pre-season and living closer to Pepper Stadium has made life easier on the 19-year-old.
"He's an easy-going guy and likes the outdoors like me," said Martin. "We're still over at Manly every second day going to the beach."
Monty salutes Hoffman
Former Warriors captain Monty Betham gave new skipper Ryan Hoffman the ultimate endorsement at the club's season launch, calling the long-time Storm player one of the toughest opponents he had faced.
He recalled targeting a "half concussed" Hoffman in one game at Mt Smart and getting "sat on my arse".
"I didn't go back there again," joked Betham, singled out in NRL player polls during his league career as the player opponents least wanted to take on in a fight.
Warriors aim to stop Campbelltown curse
Not only are the Warriors looking for their first opening game win since 2009, the Auckland club also need to stop a run of losses at Campbelltown. Their last two matches at the West Sydney stadium have ended in 50 point defeats and they haven't won there since 2008.