Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has laid down a challenge to misfiring prop Sam Moa, telling him to perform or perish.
Moa finds himself at a crossroads in the final five weeks of the NRL season – without a deal for 2017 and in danger of losing his place in the New Zealand Test squad.
In an attempt to light a fire under the Kiwi wrecking ball, Robinson said the 30-year-old’s contract talks would hinge on his performances in the run home.
“We’ve discussed it with Sam and he’s not on contract at the moment,” Robinson said on Sunday.
“That’s why, like you were talking about with the New Zealand team, his form will decide how it looks by the end of the year.”
Moa remains the only big name off-contract for the Roosters at the end of the season.
The club is all but settled on its 2017 squad with Luke Keary and Michael Gordon to add experienced in key positions after a lacklustre season which will have them miss the finals after three straight minor premierships.
Moa has averaged 92 metres and 10.2 runs this season and has acknowledged he is in a battle to prove he deserved a contract extension.
The 2016 season has been one to forget for the 15th-placed Roosters but several of their stars including Moa, Mitchell Pearce, Blake Ferguson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Boyd Cordner, Aidan Guerra and Sio Siua Taukeiaho will spend the final five rounds attempting to prove to their national selectors they deserve a spot for the end-of-season Four Nations tournament.
“Anyone who’s in contention for Australia or New Zealand will want to have good form if they want to go on the tour,” Robinson said.
“It’s pretty simple. It’s not a focus for us at all. Anyone in contention for Australia or New Zealand who wants to be on that trip will have to play some good footy and that’ll help our cause as well.”