Warrior for life: Webster’s Wayde Egan wish

Jasper Bruce |

Wayde Egan has enjoyed a great run of form for the Warriors since the arrival of Andrew Webster.
Wayde Egan has enjoyed a great run of form for the Warriors since the arrival of Andrew Webster.

Andrew Webster wants Wayde Egan at the Warriors for the rest of the in-form hooker’s career, but the coach is in no rush to open contract negotiations.

Egan was among the NRL’s most improved players in Webster’s first season at the helm last year and has performed strongly since returning from his elbow injury in round four.

He was close to the Warriors’ best player in Saturday’s 34-4 thrashing of bogey side South Sydney, proving a constant threat out of dummy half and controlling the ruck effectively.

As his stock began to soar, Egan signed a one-year contract extension last July that will keep him at the Warriors until the end of 2025.

The 27-year-old can negotiate with rivals for 2026 from November – but Webster is keen to have the hooker tied down well beyond then.

“I don’t plan on Wayde ever leaving the Warriors and I hope he feels the same,” Webster, himself contracted until the end of 2028, said on Tuesday.

“We only just extended him last year and, if he wants to stay, that’s how I feel about it.”

Preparing a new offer for Egan is not at the top of Webster’s to-do list but the coach said not to mistake his prioritising for a lack of interest.

“We know how important he is and we want to have conversations with players at the right time, that suits him and suits us,” Webster said.

“November’s a long way away. But we won’t take him for granted.”

As he prepares his side to welcome Manly to Auckland on Saturday, Webster also remained tight-lipped over Freddy Lussick’s upcoming judiciary hearing and the suspension handed to South Sydney fullback Latrell Mitchell for his weekend shot on Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson.

Egan’s understudy, Lussick is preparing to face the NSWRL judiciary on Wednesday night after being sent off in the final minute of Saturday’s NSW Cup loss to South Sydney.

Lussick was referred directly to the judiciary for putting a late hit on Lachlan Ilias that broke the halfback’s tibia. The Warriors man faces a lengthy ban if found guilty.

“It’s probably pretty silly to try and defend Freddy through the media,” Webster said.

“We’ll do that on Wednesday night when we get that opportunity.”

The coach was similarly diplomatic when pressed for his thoughts on Mitchell’s shot at Johnson during Saturday’s NRL game.

Mitchell has accepted a three-match ban for raising his forearm into the halfback’s face while running the ball.

“I stay out of that stuff. The NRL have dealt with that,” Webster said.

“It’s not my place to comment on how many weeks people should get.”

Johnson is fit to face Manly on Saturday but the prognosis is gloomier for bench forward Bunty Afoa, who will miss six to eight weeks with the hamstring injury he suffered against Souths.

AAP