Auto Poster Warriors not looking to replace James Gavet for 2019 season

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Apr 23, 2013

James Gavet could see he wasn't part of the Warriors' long-term plans.

The Warriors won't be out shopping for a replacement for James Gavet.

The prop has been given a release from the final year of his contract and it is believed will have his first training session with the Newcastle Knights on Friday.

Gavet had progressed during his three years at the Warriors to become one of the club's leading forwards.


Warriors general manager of football Brian Smith is confident there is enough depth in the Warriors squad.

But the club has decided to allow him to pick up a two-year deal with the Knights and Warriors general manager of football, Brian Smith says they're not initially going to look for someone to bring in.

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"We feel like we've got enough flexibility, with a number of guys who can play loose forward, front row and even second row, especially Adam Blair," Smith said.

"We feel like we've got enough numbers, but we will measure that over the next period of preseason training and if we feel like we need to address that, we'll see what's in the market."

Forwards like Bunty Afoa, Agnatius Paasi and Isaiah Papali'i all had impressive campaigns in 2018, while Leeson Ah Mau joined the club from the Dragons and the club also have high expectations for Chris Satae next year.

"We'd like to give those guys a crack and they've got an opportunity to play more in the first team in Chris's case" Smith said.

"So we're not concerned about that greatly, but it is something we'll be careful about and monitor as we go."

Coming up to Christmas, most NRL teams should have their squads sorted, but there are a number of player still floating around and Smith says the coaching merry-go-round currently happening, could put more players on the market.

"We're not the only club thinking there could be some serious fallout, depending on what happens with coaches in the next little while," Smith said.

"There could be a bit of a shakeup in some places and if that happens, it will leave us reasonably well place if we felt like we wanted to make a move.

"But that's not our first thought, because we're thinking we're pretty solid."

Meanwhile, Smith said the club are close to agreeing a new deal with centre Solomone Kata, who's current contract expires at the end of the 2019 season.

However the situation with Shaun Johnson remains unresolved.

The halfback has been in the UK with the Kiwis since the Warriors announced they weren't yet ready to offer Johnson a contract beyond next season and he was free to talk to other clubs.

Naturally, Johnson has been focused on playing his best for the Kiwis for the past month, but once this weekend's final test against England is out of the way, discussions on his future will begin at Mt Smart Stadium.

"We want to talk to Shaun and his manager (Peter Brown) when he comes back so we can get a gauge on what he's thinking."

The announcement that the Warriors were hesitant on offering Johnson a new contract shocked many fans, but Smith said they wanted to be open with their thinking and now they need to find out what Johnson's thoughts are.

"We need to spend some time in the same room as him, to see where he's at," Smith said.

"We've told him what we've said and that we're not in a position where we want to make an offer at this point in time and we understood that it was of interest to the public, the media were asking us lots of questions.

"So that's why we made that statement. People said that might mean he takes an offer somewhere else, but I'd be surprised if Shaun did that without talking to us."

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