When the 2017 pre-season commenced on Tuesday morning there was much discussion around recruitment at coach Nathan Brown’s press conference.
With three experienced players in Jamie Buhrer, Rory Kostjasyn and Ken Sio having signed in the off-season, Brown extolled their virtues and indicated that the Club is looking at making more signings before the season begins.
“Jamie is obviously an experienced player, a player that Manly were tossing up whether he’d be captain or not,” Brown said of Buhrer, who was present at the first day of pre-season training.
“He’s a premiership winner, so he brings plenty of pedigree to the Club which is good for our younger players.”
Sio will be starting his pre-season next Monday, and Brown says the 26-year-old will bring plenty of great qualities to the outside backs.
“Ken played really well in his last year for Parramatta, fortunately for Hull KR they had already signed him,” Brown said.
“In his last two years in England he has been one of the top outside backs.
“He’s been very consistent and he also comes to us with very good wraps as a person and at 26 years of age is coming into his prime as an athlete.”
And while Rory Kostjasyn - who played three weeks of finals football - will not be on board until November 21, Brown says the Club is still on the hunt for more experienced players ahead of the 2017 season.
“We’ve got a number of spots there and a decent amount of money available,” he said.
“We’d like to bring in another three players of experience, whether that is possible, we’ll have to wait and see.”
With a number of players having retired and moved on over the last two years, the depth of some positions still needs bolstering and Brown is ready to jump on any opportunities.
“We’d definitely like to bring another outside back in and another middle type of player in.”
“If you believe what you hear there are some clubs over the salary cap that will want to move certain players.”
Citing the state of the player market this time last year when individuals were switching clubs as late as December, Brown thinks there is still plenty of time for movement.
“I think there’s still a fair bit of movement in the market, and that’s the way the game is today,” he explained.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do, and at the end of the day roster management is what makes clubs good or not so good.”