CM – Krieger in talks with Watene-Zeleziak to replace Maumalo

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The Warriors want to offer Dallin Watene-Zelezniak a contract that goes beyond his current contract with the Bulldogs. MARK METCALFE / GETTY IMAGES

The Warriors are in talks to sign Kiwis captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to replace Ken Maumalo.

Stuff expects the club to be in negotiations with Watene this week -Zelezniak and his agent Tyran Smith, with his move to the Warriors linked to Maumalo’s move to the Wests Tigers, which was confirmed on Saturday.

Tigers trainer Michael Maguire, who also trains the Kiwis, wanted Watene-Zelezniak from the Bulldogs and has been talking about a full-back / winger switch this season for some time.

These negotiations were about how much of Watene-Zelezniak’s salary of $ 850,000 per season the Bulldogs would continue to pick up However, when it was found that Maumalo had fallen out of favor with the Warriors, Maguire turned his attention to Maumalo and that opened up the possibility for the Warriors to intervene and Watene-Zelezni ak.

While Maguire has trained Watene-Zelezniak and Maumalo internationally, his preference has been to have Maumalo while the Warriors believe getting Watene-Zelezniak for Maumalo is an upgrade.

The Warriors would seek the Bulldogs to contribute around $ 400,000 to Watene-Zelezniak’s contract for the next season and a similar ratio of his contract to be paid for the remainder of this season.

Watene-Zelezniak has until the end of the next Season a deal with the Bulldogs, but the Warriors want to offer him a deal beyond 2022.

The club has plenty of room for salary caps, with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck going out while Warriors’ recruitment and retention manager Peter O. ‘Sullivan, has carefully managed how much they pay to players who have signed up.

Some players whose contracts expire at the end of the season were expecting nice salary increases in 2022 and beyond O’Sullivan has his wallets firmly under control, however, so he had room on the salary cap to attract a big name player, and Watene-Zelezniak certainly falls into that category.

The 25-year-old Hamilton-born Watene-Zelezniak is not only an outstanding player, but also a person of extraordinary character and could potentially become captain of the Warriors if Tohu Harris turns down this job next season.

Watene-Zelezniak is the perfect choice for the Warriors because it fits in with the way the club’s coach, Nathan Brown, wants to play the team.

Brown wants speed rather than strength from his wingers. That’s why Maumalo was asked in his final weeks with the Warriors to improve his fitness.

Having Watene-Zelezniak would pay off not only in the long run for the Warriors, but for the rest of this season and with Reece Walsh, Tuivasa- Sheck and Watene-Zelezniak behind should scare the hearts of all other teams in fear the NRL.

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