Why Wayde Egan didn't entertain rival Aussie offers to stay with Warriors

Publish Date
Wednesday, 15 May 2024, 6:30PM

By Alex Powell

Warriors hooker Wayde Egan had no thought of entertaining offers from rival NRL clubs, before putting pen to paper to stay in New Zealand until the end of 2027 at least.

Due to the NRL’s contracting rules, Egan was free to talk to other clubs from as early as November, with his previous deal expiring at the end of 2025.

However, despite the possibility of commanding a huge salary from an Australian club, Egan on Tuesday re-signed for two more years.

And speaking to Newstalk ZB’s D’Arcy Waldegrave, Egan made it clear that Aotearoa is where he wants to spend the best years of his career.

“They reached out a couple of weeks ago, before I come off contract, and put together a deal,” the 27-year-old said.

“It was definitely good enough to stay. I don’t even want to look anywhere else, to be fair.

“I’m very happy here, I’ve got some of my best mates at the club. Honestly, I couldn’t see myself playing against the Warriors.

“It was a pretty easy decision as soon as they offered me something.”

Egan wasn’t alone as a top hooker in that position.

The likes of Brandon Smith (Sydney Roosters), Damien Cook (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Jeremy Marshall-King (Redcliffe Dolphins) and Reece Robson (North Queensland Cowboys) were also off-contract in the same window.

What’s more, his form in a struggling Warriors side has seen Egan’s name put forward for representative duty, and a possible maiden New South Wales call-up for State of Origin.

Blues coach Michael Maguire is a known admirer of Egan, and last year joked of seeing the Warriors rake switch allegiance from Australia to New Zealand when he was in charge of the Kiwis.

Having representative honours under his belt would only add to Egan’s value on the open market, and would make him an attractive prospect for any club.

Should he have tested his value, it’s not out of the question that he could have commanded a much higher salary than he’ll get in New Zealand.

But while Warriors sides of the past have lost Australian talent to the lure of returning home, Egan wasn’t prepared to entertain thoughts of returning across the Tasman.

“I didn’t let it get to that stage. I wasn’t keen to look anywhere else.

“I’m very happy here and content in New Zealand. I don’t want to play for another club at the moment.

“You can’t talk to anyone before the end of your contract year. I wouldn’t be able to go on the open market until November.

“The Warriors moved before that to give me some security, I was happy to take that for sure.”

Egan’s re-signing is another vote of confidence for the Warriors as a club, despite this season’s on-field struggles.

Before Sunday’s magic round clash against the Penrith Panthers, Andrew Webster’s side languish 14th on the NRL ladder and have struggled so far to recapture the form of last year’s top-four finish.

However, the club have already moved to capture the signature of Kiwis captain James Fisher-Harris, and secured the highly touted Jett Cleary - son of former coach Ivan Cleary.

And with Webster himself at the club until the end of 2028, everything is in place for the Warriors to continue to grow over the coming years.

“The structure is there, the foundation is built of a good club,” said Egan.

“We’re in a bit of a down patch now, but I know we’ll come out the other side of that.

“The foundation is great, I love the people at the club, I love the boys and I don’t want to leave.”

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission

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