August 11, 2014 09:14:06 UK
Laurie Daley feels the Warriors have improved under coach Andrew McFadden, and will be boosted next season by the arrival of Ryan Hoffman.
NSW coach Daley rated the Melbourne Storm backrower as one of the best performers in this year’s State of Origin series.
Hoffman has signed a three-year deal worth a reported $1.6 million with the Auckland club that will start next year.
The five-cap Kangaroo is a proven winner, having been in the Wigan side that won the 2011 Challenge Cup Final against Leeds and then returned to Australia to play in the Storm’s winning 2012 grand final against the Bulldogs.
Daley said Hoffman was a total professional and a leader, adding: “He will be one of the great assets to the club. [He] was close to our best, if not our best in Origin this year.”
The coach expects Hoffman to figure in the NSW Player of the Year award this season, and feels he will be one of the great buys for the Warriors.
He will be one of the great assets to the club. [He] was close to our best, if not our best in Origin this year.
The New Zealand side, who are 1.62 to win their next match against Newcastle Knights, moved into sixth place on the NRL ladder with their win over the Sharks on Sunday.
The Warriors, who are 1.91 conceding a four-point start against the Knights, are one of six teams on 26 points, after picking up three victories in the past five rounds.
Daley said when the team got on a roll, they were hard to beat, adding: “Since Andrew McFadden has taken over they’ve been consistent with their performances. Anything is a possibility for the Warriors and you wouldn’t want to be playing them in the final if they’re all fit and healthy.”
Meanwhile, the Warriors have signed playmaker Thomas Leuluai to an extended contract. The 29-year-old, who missed three months of the season with a groin problem, has committed himself to the club until the end of the 2017 season.
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