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Rhinos Heading for a Front Row Crisis?
Posted by southstander on July 13 2005 - 12:04:44

One of Many?
With the departure of Barrie McDermott, and the rife rumours of the departure of Ryan Bailey at the end of the season, you have to wonder if we are rapidly approaching a bit of a prop forward crisis!

With silverware in the cupboard, and still looking good for 2005 (despite last saturdays 'blip') you still have to trust Tony and Darth. However, it is looking increasingly like we'll be down to youngsters and makeshift front rowers come the start of 2006, unless Gawy has some major signings in the pipeline.

Barrie announced his retirement, and movement to the coaching staff, last week, a move which will have shocked many, and disappointed even more. I felt that Barrie has probably played himself into a new contract for 2006, but apparently Tony and Darth didn't agree.

Barrie stated;

'It is the right move for me. I didn't want to end my career at another club who don't have a chance of winning something. I want to go out on a high.

'I looked at Furns (David Furner) last year and saw him playing his last game in a great stadium and lifting the silverware and I was jealous. I want to end my career on that same high this year at Old Trafford. It is up to me to work for the rest of the season to ensure that I can make my dream a reality.

'I am looking forward to the new challenge of coaching and whatever that brings. It will be sad to finally hang up my boots on the playing side, but it will mean that I can relish what is left of this season and give it 110%.'

Rumours are rife that Tony and Darth have lost patience with Ryan Bailey, and that he'll be shown the door at the end of the season. Add McDonald's departure and the likelihood that the Feather loan to Wakefield will become permanent and it leaves us with just Ward and Scruton for next season.

I reckon that we need at least two world class prop forwards, but in reality there are few of them around, and even fewer are available. We've been linked with Korkidas from Wakefield, possibly in exchange for making the Feather loan permanent, but I've heard little of other options under consideration.

Darth is likely to have to visit the southern hemisphere in his quest for replacements, and I understand that the highly rated Ben Ross is available from Penrith Panthers, amongst others.

Now looks like the time to strengthen, and we need to start seeing moves from the management soon to bolster our confidence in them. I guess it is a case of 'watch this space'.



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