The Warriors are set to suffer a “heartbreaking” loss with Reece Walsh’s departure imminent — but the blow has raised bigger questions.

For years, young New Zealand prospects have been lured across the Tasman and inserted into rugby league systems around Australia, Dylan Brown being the most recent example.

The Daily Telegraph’s Paul Kent believes the club must bring a business savvy mind into the organisation to stop talent leaving the Warriors in the junior ranks and now from the first team.

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“The flip side is, so many junior players are getting pinched out of New Zealand at 16 or 17 years of age, getting put into schools over here, they spend two or three years in the junior system over here and come through as a North Queensland Cowboy or whoever,” Kent said on NRL360.

“At both ends now the Warriors are starting to lose players, they need to start reassessing how they are doing their business.

“They are losing them at the top-end now, they have been losing them at the bottom end for years.

“There is not a lot coming through, when we all talk about the junior nursery and how big it should be, by the time they get them playing ready they are already playing for an Australian club.”

“It has been happening for years, it is not just North Queensland, Dylan Brown came across as a schoolboy,” The Daily Telegraph’s Paul Crawley said.

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“Sonny Bill Williams, go as far back as Sonny Bill,” Fox League’s James Hooper said.

“They also have the same amount of money to spend as every NRL club, every club has a salary cap,” Kent said.

“I just think they need to start finding ways to keep the kids in New Zealand, I know they can’t keep them all, but they are losing too many kids to Australian based clubs at too young an age, then they struggle.”

As it stands, the Warriors have reportedly acquired Raiders fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, but losing one of the game’s most promising talents is a “crushing blow”.

“That is heartbreaking for them, they are trying to build their team, they lost their coach, their first week back in New Zealand and they win,” NRL360 host Braith Anasta said.

“Now they lose one of the most promising players in the game.”

“It is a crushing blow,” Crawley said.

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Kent believes the club must employ strong administrators that understand the NRL landscape to join forces with Andrew Webster, who is reportedly set to sign as the Warriors new head coach.

“They have got to get in the fight the Warriors, they need to get someone in there who understands the rugby league landscape,” Kent said.

“Andrew Webster is going to go there as a coach, they need a recruitment guy, they need someone who is sharp about what he does.”

“They have had in recent times, O’Sullivan, who is near the top of the tree when it comes to recruitment bosses, they have had Phil Gould at the club, they have had people there that are supposedly at the top of the business and it hasn’t worked,” Crawley said.

“Then you have got a rookie coach now on the verge of agreeing to terms at the club, who is going to hold his hand through this period where you have got to learn who is who in the zoo and how to conduct business to keep these players.”



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