Michael LICHAA . NRL. North Queensland Cowboys Vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at 1300smiles Stadium. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Michael LICHAA . NRL. North Queensland Cowboys Vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at 1300smiles Stadium. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Unwanted Lichaa ready to answer Warriors’ SOS

FORGOTTEN hooker Michael Lichaa is the first player to put his hand up and answer an SOS from the Warriors in a bid to revive his NRL career.

Warriors boss Cameron George confirmed on Tuesday that the club is in the midst of finalising a "hit list" of rival offcuts in a bid to stay on the field.

It comes after it was revealed the NRL was considering a radical plan of allowing the Warriors to loan players from rival clubs to ensure eight matches are played every weekend.

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Lichaa is among a list of high-profile players who are without a club this season joining the likes of premiership winner Kyle Turner plus Josh Hoffman and Lloyd Perrett on the sidelines.

The ex-Canterbury and Cronulla hooker said he would welcome another crack at the NRL even if it was with a makeshift New Zealand team.

 

"I would never say never," Lichaa said. "It's a weird situation for everyone. It could be a good opportunity.

"If they still had some of their NRL players it could definitely work. Let's see what happens."

Lichaa, 26, has kept fit juggling his work as a foreman while keeping his NRL dream alive. He said he would need a few weeks to have his body primed for an NRL return.

"If I did three really hard weeks of training I would be all right," Lichaa said. "It's different training by yourself.

"You have to do contact. You don't want to get injuries and play having done no contact."

Warriors CEO Cameron George is considering all options. Photo: Greg Bowker/Getty Images
Warriors CEO Cameron George is considering all options. Photo: Greg Bowker/Getty Images

The team could potentially be mixed with those current Warriors who wish to stay in Australia and play out the rest of the season and those who are snapped up from rival clubs in search of an opportunity.

The Warriors players have only committed to remaining in Australia until the end of this round. As soon as they return home they will be quarantined for two weeks, immediately putting a halt to matches.

George said the prospect of loaning players was very real.

The former Bulldogs hooker has been without a club since his Canterbury contract wound up. Photo: Alix Sweeney
The former Bulldogs hooker has been without a club since his Canterbury contract wound up. Photo: Alix Sweeney

"We've got a hit list," George said. "So we have been talking to a couple of clubs about some players that might be available under the circumstances and how that would look, for how long.

"But it's a real possibility given the restrictions of travel. We can't get people in there. "There's a real option for us to look at, it's just working out who and where from.

"It's a difficult one because if you're a club and you're happy to help out you're not going to throw anyone out of your top bunch at us.

"The players we'll be dealing with will be ones on the fringe not playing NRL."

The NRL has already allowed the Warriors to use their development players without salary cap implications. They named Adam Keighran and Adam Pompey as replacements for outside backs

While Cameron indicated contingency plans were well developed in case players decided to go home, owner Mark Robinson said the players were happy to stay in Australia and play out the season.