David Skipwith is the Herald's rugby league reporter

NRL: Off-contract Warriors front-rower Charlie Gubb intent on improving his game to secure playing future

Warriors front-rower Charlie Gubb is off-contract at the end of this season and eager to improve his game to help secure his playing future. Photo / Photosport.
Warriors front-rower Charlie Gubb is off-contract at the end of this season and eager to improve his game to help secure his playing future. Photo / Photosport.

Off-contract Warriors front-rower Charlie Gubb knows he needs to lift his performances to extend his time at the Warriors or attract other offers from rival NRL clubs.

Gubb was weighing up his options over the offseason after receiving lucrative offers from several clubs, including last year's premiers Cronulla and 2015 winners North Queensland, but the Warriors closed the door on any potential move by taking up an option to retain him for this season.

He was expecting a contract upgrade but came to terms with his situation when new coach Stephen Kearney made it clear he has a big part to play in his plans for this season.

Gubb has since put those issues behind him and is determined to take his game to a new level while hoping to secure his future at Mt Smart Stadium.

"I had other offers and things that I thought had been agreed on with the Warriors," said Gubb.

"Stephen came along and they decided they really wanted to keep me and I had to accept that and I'm really happy to stay.

"Over the preseason I've been more and more happy training under him and enjoying his style of training and the atmosphere within the team.

"I'm really looking forward to the season ahead and no matter what I'll be at the Warriors."

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Gubb is known for his rugged defensive style but admits he needs to improve his overall game and provide more with the ball in hand.

The 26-year-old made 14 appearances last season before receiving a harsh seven-week suspension for a shoulder charge in the golden point loss to Manly in Perth.

The Warriors fan favourite is intent on playing longer, more productive minutes and with Ben Matulino out of action following knee surgery, is pressing hard for selection for next Sunday's season opener against the Newcastle Knights in Auckland.

"I was just playing one side of the game," he said.

"I wasn't really concerned about attack. I just wanted to do an awesome job on defence but now I want to do both.

"He (Kearney) put a lot of confidence in me and we've been talking a lot over the preseason on things I need to work on.

"I've been doing those and I feel like I'm a more well-rounded footballer now.

"I want to play more minutes, get more touches, make harder carries and see where that takes me.

"I'm determined to do that this year. I've been practicing a lot, it's just about proving it on the field now."

Kearney has been impressed by Gubb's attitude throughout the preseason and with his trial performances in the starting side against both Melbourne and the Gold Coast.

"I'm really pleased for Charlie," said Kearney. "He was a bit upset at the time but he's put his best foot forward which is the best way to go about your business."

- NZ Herald

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