Kodi Nikorima has long been in the sights of the Warriors and with the departure of Shaun Johnson late last year, it freed up an opportunity to try to lure the young Kiwis half to the club.
Now, the Warriors are closing in on their man with Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold confirming a lucrative multi-year deal has been tabled to the 25-year-old, who could be in Warriors colours by the end of the week.
Nikorima is still young, but he's been around the league for a while and experience has been an important factor in the Warriors' search for a full-time half to pair with Blake Green.
"We've had an interest in Kodi for a while — I've been working with him for a while about getting him here for 2020, where he has an option on his contract at the [Brisbane] Broncos," Warriors coach Stephen Kearney told Radio Sport's D'Arcy Waldegrave. "Anything before then is in the hands of the Broncos and his agent."
Kearney has always been an advocate for Nikorima. In 2015, he brought the halfback into the Kiwis squad for the Anzac test with just nine NRL games under his belt. He's since played in 13 matches for the Kiwis, winning four, and has experience playing alongside a number of players in the Warriors usual first-grade squad.
With a 52-34 NRL record in four and a bit seasons with the Broncos, Nikorima would not only bring experience in the league, but winning experience to the club. But while he's being labelled by some as a big upgrade from current Warriors half Chanel Harris-Tavita, the experience factor seems to be the only thing Nikorima has over the 20-year-old Harris-Tavita.
Through seven rounds of the NRL season, Nikorima has the worst tackling statistics in the competition. He's missed a league-high 31 tackles, failing to make 20 per cent of his attempts.
Expected to join the squad as a first-choice half, Nikorima is not a goal kicker. Neither he nor Green have attempted a single goal in the NRL, leaving hooker Issac Luke - a career 70 per cent kicker - as the likely option.
Outside of Luke, who is currently not signed beyond the 2019 season, second-rower Tohu Harris (66 per cent on 12 attempts) or centre Peta Hiku (43 per cent on seven attempts) are other options.
Harris-Tavita is converting at 75 per cent from the tee, and is exceeding expectations defensively with a tackling success rate above 90 per cent.
Both Harris-Tavita and Nikorima have taken on roles as their team's secondary playmaker or last tackle option, but have shown an ability to create with ball in hand. Nikorima has assisted on four tries in his seven appearances this year while Harris-Tavita has assisted on three in his four matches.
The club's manager of football, Brian Smith, told Newstalk ZB's Martin Devlin they wanted to give the likes of Harris-Tavita and fellow rookie half Adam Keighran a chance in first-grade, with Harris-Tavita impressing so far. However, the concern around Harris-Tavita is his age and whether he's ready for first-grade, and the Warriors continuing to pursue the signature of Nikorima shows the club don't think he is.
"Hopefully those young guys that are getting some experience will become our backups and better backups in future seasons, or if they grow enough they might be fighting for a spot at the end of the year or into next season," Smith said.
With Blake Green halfway through a three-year contract, Nikorima and Harris-Tavita could, in the future, pair up in the Warriors halves. However, will Harris-Tavita get restless if he's shelved?
Sky Sports Australia reporter Terry Kennedy sounded off on the offer from the Warriors. Speaking to the Radio Sport Breakfast, he said Nikorima has been a "massive project" for the Broncos but has failed to fulfill his potential.
"He'll win you a couple of games, but he won't win you enough games and he just has some frailties in his game that come back to bite him.
"He's a really good player, but how good? He's not three quarters the player Shaun Johnson is."
NRL 2019 season statistics
Kodi Nikorima (Brisbane Broncos)
Games played: 7
Missed tackles: 31 (most in NRL)
Try assists: 4
Chanel Harris-Tavita (Warriors)
Games played: 4
Missed tackles: 5
Try assists: 3
Goals: 12/16 (75 per cent)
Adam Keighran (Warriors)
Games played: 3
Missed tackles: 9
Goals: 9/10 (90 per cent)
Shaun Johnson (Cronulla Sharks)
Games played: 6
Missed tackles: 11
Try assists: 5
Goals: 11/13 (84 per cent)