The world of Rugby League has seemingly been split in half by the news that Warrington have landed a deal to sign former Leeds and Hull KR prop Ryan Bailey on a one-year deal for 2016.
Bailey will join up with Tony Smith again next season, after the two spent time together at Leeds earlier in their careers.
We’ve been asking you for your views on Bailey’s switch across the Pennines, whilst also asking some of our own team their thoughts on Ryan Bailey. It was a mixed view, so there’s both sides of the coin to look at…
Bailey will be a hit at Warrington
Ryan Bailey is a solid acquisition for the Wolves. He’s nasty, aggressive and a really unpleasant player to come up against, there’s absolutely no question about that. Warrington have already got Chris Hill, Ashton Sims, and Ben Westwood in their pack, if you add Ryan Bailey to the party, can any fan of an opposing Super League team honestly say they would want to go up against those four guys?
Tony Smith knows Bailey inside out from their days together at Leeds, which is vital in this deal. The two had a great working relationship, enjoyed plenty of success together and Smith knows how to get the best out of him. Some have questioned Bailey after a disappointing 2015, but that will only pump him up further ahead of this season, and I genuinely believe that Warrington will get the best out of him.
He’s not a player you’d associate with Warrington’s style of play, but that ruthless streak gives the Wolves another dimension going into 2016.
Bailey might not be what Warrington need
Warrington seem well stacked in the forwards; as well as the likes of Ashton Sims and Chris Hill, Ben Westwood is likely to make the switch to the front row in 2016. They also acted swiftly to bring in Jordan Cox from Hull Kingston Rovers, as well as NRL import Mitchell Dodds.
Where does Bailey fit in? That’s not a dig at Bailey himself, more any prop Warrington could have signed in this situation. Granted injuries will bite teams hard throughout the season – Warrington knew that more than most in 2015. But Bailey’s switch across the Pennines seems strange, and a disappointing 2015 for both Hull KR and Castleford will have done little to influence Wolves fans that this is a solid and exciting signing.
Will he prove us wrong?
@rlworld on his day a great player. Will add mongrel to the pack.
— Daniel Gray (@Dan_G1374) November 25, 2015
@leagueexpress surprising to say the least. If it goes well, good move. If it goes Pete Tong TS will be getting his P45
— Scott Daniels (@scott_newbridge) November 25, 2015