For the flailing Warriors it's not about signing more Australians - the most important thing is signing the right kind of imports.

Australian journalist Paul Kent said this week that one of club's major problems is an excess of local players in their squad.

"The fundamental problem [is] there are too many Kiwis in the side," Kent said on Fox Sports NRL 360on Monday night.

It followed his televised comments last week, when Kent opined that the league system here doesn't produce mentally tough players.


Kent is a respected voice, and often makes a lot of sense, but has missed the mark with both of those theories.

On the subject of Australians, they haven't always been the panacea.

Does anyone remember Jayson Bukuya? He was awful during his one year stint here (2014), often giving the impression he was disinterested, on and off the field. Todd Lowrie hardly set the world on fire, Dane Nielsen was a poor value buy and neither Brett Seymour nor Shaun Berrigan lived up to expectations. Among the current crop Matt Allwood is another example; he has played only seven NRL games since he arrived from Canberra at the start of the 2015 season.

The Warriors have previously performed well with a Kiwi-dominated roster. The team which reached the 2003 preliminary final had two imports (Brent Webb and Richard Villasanti) while the 2011 grand final team included just a quartet of Australians among the 17. The key is recruiting overseas players with the right attitude, personality and talent; think Micheal Luck, Kevin Campion, Jason Death and Ivan Cleary.

Add those kind of players to an existing recipe, with the right squad, environment, tactics, culture and game plan, and you'll find success.

The Warriors have fallen short this season in each area.

Kent's sweeping statement about the lack of mental toughness among New Zealand-produced players is also errant. Such a generalisation overlooks the likes of Simon Mannering, Elijah Taylor, Lewis Brown, Jesse Bromwich - all of whom learnt their trade on this side of the Tasman - as well as Gary Freeman, Ruben Wiki, Quentin Pongia and Mark Graham from the past.

The bigger issue, as it has been for decades, is the sidelining of league in high schools in New Zealand. If there was a genuine league programme in schools it would help to breed a new generation of junior players.