Cameron George: Decision due tomorrow on Isaac Luke's Warriors future

Episode of: D'Arcy and Goran

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Oct 2, 20187m
Cameron George: Decision due tomorrow on Isaac Luke's Warriors future
Oct 2 '187m
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The end is nigh for Issac Luke's protracted contract negotiations. It's understood Luke has accepted a heavily reduced offer to remain in Auckland after talks to join Newcastle broke down following news he requires shoulder surgery which could keep him sidelined until March next year. Warriors boss Cameron George told D’Arcy and Goran the deal is not quite done, but a meeting tomorrow between Luke and the club will sort it once and for all. George responded last week to being asked about the deal with "how long is a piece of string", but now is confident the matter will be settled. "That's why we catch up tomorrow when I'm in Auckland and we can go from there." The new contract comes after lengthy negotiations between the two parties with the Warriors first tabling their offer for Luke to consider back in July. The 31-year-old was hoping for a longer two or three year deal but will now hope to maintain his strong form next season to inspire either the Warriors or another rival club to sign him for 2020 and beyond. Luke enjoyed a standout season in helping the Warriors to their first finals appearance in seven years before their campaign ended in the qualifying final loss to Penrith in week one of the playoffs. His dynamic running and creativity out of dummy-half saw him rediscover his best form after his play suffered during his first two years at the Warriors (2016-17) as he battled weight and fitness issues. His resurgence was rewarded when he reclaimed his Kiwis jersey for the June test against England in Denver before he finished the season among the nominees for the Dally M Hooker of the Year award. The Warriors will be expecting more of the same from him next year as the club's first-choice hooker while looking to further blood young No 9 Nathaniel Roach who missed the entire season recovering from back surgery. Luke's pending signing comes after the Warriors last week announced versatile forward Jazz Tevaga had re-signed for next season with an option for 2020, while the club has further depth in the position through back-up hookers Karl Lawton and Sam Cook. Tevaga last week celebrated winning the Dally M Interchange Player of the Year after an impressive campaign that saw him come off the bench to play loose-forward while he also filled in at dummy-half in Luke's absence. However, the extent of Luke's shoulder injury is still to be confirmed after he carried the problem throughout the season while also managing an Achilles strain. Luke has a history of shoulder issues and missed the round 10 loss to the Sydney Roosters after suffering a dislocation in the previous week's win over Wests Tigers. The injury has ruled him out of next week's transtasman clash against the Kangaroos in Auckland and the Kiwis' end of year tour of the UK. Meanwhile, the Warriors on Monday confirmed former Kiwis World Cup winning captain Nathan Cayless has signed a two-year deal to coach the club's Intrust Super Premiership side. The Warriors have also announced they will play a home game at Wellington's Westpac Stadium in each of the next two seasons. The date of next year's game will be confirmed when the 2019 premiership draw is released in November. - with content from NZ Herald LISTEN TO CAMERON GEORGE TALK WITH D'ARCY AND GORAN ABOVE

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