So with an interesting discussion occurring about our roster moving forward, I thought it best to break it into a separate blog.
The club has wrapped up its spine for the future. Gutherson, Moses, Brown, Mahoney, Paulo, RCG, Matterson are all on long-term deals. Throw in upgrades and extensions to Jennings and N. Brown and our best players aren't going anywhere.
Now the club has a chance to engage in a little squad rotation which will be needed to keep up the competition for spots and bring in some more firepower.
Movements we know already:
- Stefano Utoikamanu: He's already headed to the Tigers. His departure will free a top 30 spot although only release minimum wage in the salary cap.
- David Gower: He was going to retire last year but has played on for one more season. Again frees a top 30 spot but is also on minimum wage.
- Daniel Alvaro: Clearly on the outer with the Eels given his loan to the Warriors, it's likely he'll be allowed to move on at the end of this season.
- George Jennings: Like Alvaro he's been loaned to the Warriors. If he was in the club's immediate plans it's unlikely he'd have been permitted to leave.
- Kane Evans: Off-contract at the end of the season, he's reportedly had some Super League clubs sniffing around. His form has been outstanding this season and I wouldn't be opposed to re-signing him at a lower value.
- Brad Takairangi: A great contributor and team player over his time at the club it's unclear if he will be retained. His utility value though has been useful, playing centre, wing, five-eighth and back-row during his Eels tenure.
- Hooker: There is no clear back up to Reed Mahoney. Kyle Schneider may be promoted to the top 30 next year or the Eels could hunt around for an offcast hooker who is happy to play either off the bench or ply their trade in Wenty as injury cover.
- Fullback: The moving on of Josh Hoffman means there is no recognised replacement fullback should Clint Gutherson go down.
- Winger: If George Jennings were to be released then it's down to our juniors or Jordan Rankin. However Rankin has apparently been playing in the halves recently.
- Centre: Should Taka be moved on there would be no recognised back up and a junior would need to be promoted or another centre recruited.