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Elliott: Warriors culture ruins talented players' careers

Sporting News logo Sporting News 15/08/2017
© Provided by Sportal com au "Bad players go to the Melbourne Storm and turn into good players. I see good players go to the Warriors, and get worse''.

Those are the words from former Warriors coach Matthew Elliott that have voiced a common feeling across the wider rugby league community as the Warriors end another season in the bottom half of the table with one of the most promising side's in the competition.

The Warriors boast the New Zealand international team's spine with the likes of Shaun Johnson, Kieran Foran, Issac Luke and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, yet they will miss out on the finals for the sixth consecutive year on the back of six losses.

By now the fans should be used to the disappointment, but 2017 was meant to be THE year.

Elliott was in charge for just over a season between 2013-14 and put New Zealand's failures down to the player's professionalism and the working environment the club has established across the ditch.

"That isn't about their ability, that isn't about the quality of the person, it's about the environment, and the environment needs to change," Elliott told Radio Sport.

"Changing the environment is awkward, and you're going to have to go through resistance. That's wasn't something that in my experience there, that was embraced.

"You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know that something needs to change with the culture of the Warriors.

"What change requires is going through some complexity and some resistance, and if you're not prepared to go through that and you can't embrace that, it's not going to change."

Foran, Luke and Tuivasa-Sheck have been far from their best since the move overseas, while Shaun Johnson's potential is yet to be unearthed due to his loyalty to the club.

Luke was easily the second best hooker in the competition after steering the Rabbitohs to a historic premiership in 2014 and his current skipper Tuivasa-Sheck won the Dally M Fullback of the Year before returning home to New Zealand.

While Foran's late career has been plagued with off-field controversy and injuries, the 27-year-old was one of the most damaging playmakers in the competition and was the creative backbone for Manly before trouble hit on his arrival at Parramatta.

Other names whose career hit a roadblock when they made the move to the Warriors include Feleti Mateo, Sam Tomkins, Dane Nielsen, Krisnan Inu and Shaun Berrigan.

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