We definitely need backup at hooker. McGuire could get us through a game if Macca went down but I doubt we would make finals with him. I like Nikorima but I would almost guarantee even if we bought him as a utility he would no doubt end up a starting halve.Just further to my post above, and going back over what Webb said in the RedVPodcast (from about 20min 20 sec to 21min 30 sec marks)
4 or 5 spots available for next year, so basically 25 or 26 already on the list for 2022.
There are 21 "official" signings:
Alvaro, Bird, Burns, Clune, DeBelin, Faamausili, Mat Feagai, Max Feagai, Ford, Hunt, Kerr, Lawrie, Lomax, McCullough, Maguire, Molo, Ramsey, Ravalawa, Sims, Sullivan & Vaughan.
= 8 middle forwards
= 5 backs
= 4 edge forwards
= 3 halves
= 1 hooker
So, I think 2 will be promoted from the DS:
Amone & Sloan
= 1 half (now makes 4)
= 1 back (now makes 6)
Players who are off contract who we may look to re-sign:
Fuimaono & Williame (possibly Beale?)
= 1 utility forward/back
= 1 (possibly 2) back
This would get us to the 4 or 5 spots available statement Webb has suggested.
Webb says they are looking at a big body forward.
I would think that a utility hooker in the mold of what role Hunt plays for QLD would be beneficial as well, with Fui covering the forwards as an edge/lock/centre option. Maguire can "fill-in" at hooker, but wouldn't be that effective other than passing the ball ie: no running game from dummy half or alternative kicker and certainly no dash. Young Muhleisen is a couple of years away (coincide with Maccas contract).
This is why I think Nikorima would be a good buy for 2 years, can play hooker, fullback and in the halves and used as the Ben Hunt type utility (I think they've tried it with Clune for example).
Our bench would be for example, 2 props, Fui (as the utility forward) and Nikorima (as the utility back and X-factor).