Warriors feel blame lies elsewhere in messy Ronald Volkman saga

Ronald Volkman has been left unemployed because he needs a shoulder operation.

The Warriors are displeased that the finger has been pointed at them over the messy saga that’s left Ronald Volkman unemployed.

 

There is no way back to the Warriors for the injured half, even though he had two years remaining on his contract, before agreeing a move to the Dragons.

 

That deal has fallen through, because Volkman needs a shoulder operation, which will rule him out for all of this year and despite signing a contract with the Dragons, the 21-year-old has been told he won’t be registered with the NRL.

 

The Warriors had been trying to find a solution to deal with the Volkman problem ever since Shaun Johnson signed a new contract with Warriors in July.

 

Johnson playing so well in 2023 was an unexpected surprise for the Warriors, who had already made plans for life without him.

 

When Shaun Johnson signed a new contract with the Warriors for 2022, the club needed work out what to do with Ronald Volkman.

 

When Shaun Johnson signed a new contract with the Warriors for 2022, the club needed work out what to do with Ronald Volkman.

 

An NRL club needs four halves in its roster and the Warriors had Te Maire Martin, Luke Metcalf, Volkman and Chanel Harris-Tavita was re-signed to complete the four.

 

But Johnson’s form couldn’t be ignored and when he turned down a two-year deal with Wests Tigers it was inevitable that he’d be at the Warriors this year.

 

Five halves on a roster wastes a spot that could be filled by a player in a different position, who’d be more likely to get game time.

 

Volkman was made aware of the situation and there had been interest from Super League clubs in him and also the option was looked at for the Warriors loaning him out for 2024 and having him back for 2025.

 

It is highly unlikely both Johnson at Metcalf will be at the Warriors next year, so Volkman would have become a more valuable asset.

 

However, an arrangement was done for him to go to the Dragons on a one-year deal and the Warriors signed his release on December 20.

 

His agent, Mario Tartak, agreed to the release, even though Volkman was going from being under contract for two years, to just one.

 

The Warriors paid Volkman a lump sum of money for their contribution towards his salary, waved him goodbye and thought that was the end of the matter.

 

But the problem was the release from the Warriors was signed without having already satisfied all the other conditions with the Dragons.

 

This wasn’t the usual arrangement where agreement was reached for a player to move clubs, but had to pass a medical to confirm the deal and if he fails it, returns to his original club.

 

It was picked up in a medical, after Volkman had signed, that he needs a shoulder operation which will rule him out for a year and he’s been left unemployed, due to the Dragons’ decision to cut ties with him.

 

As this will be the second significant operation on the same shoulder, clubs could be reticent about offering Volkman a long-term deal once he’s fit again.

 

The Warriors are sympathetic to what’s happened to Volkman, but it’s not their problem.

 

The NRL and RLPA are set to investigate what’s happened, but the Warriors don’t believe that’ve got a case to answer.

 

The Dragons are the ones who’ll be in hot water. They signed a contract with him, announced the deal, allowed him to come into their system, train with the team and then did the medical.

 

The Dragons are furious at the Warriors, believing they were sold a dud.

 

But the Warriors insist they’ve done nothing wrong and while what’s happened has been tough on Volkman, it’s the Dragons and his agent that have got him into this situation.

 

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