“WHY would they let a forward go when they’re already short up front?”

That was one of the reactions when news of Rob Butler’s imminent departure from Warrington Wolves surfaced over the weekend.

On the face of it, one could maybe forgive Wire fans for being of that point of view.

The lack of size and options up front has been a common criticism of this Warrington team so in the most basic sense, taking one of those options away may seem counter-productive.

However, I believe this is a good move for both Butler and Warrington Wolves. Let me explain why…

First of all, I imagine the lad just wants to play some rugby league.

First-team opportunities have been few and far between and for a 23-year-old prop desperate to prove himself at the top level, one or two reserve games per month will not really cut it.

It is clear that Mike Cooper, Robbie Mulhern, Joe Philbin and Joe Bullock are the four first-choice prop forwards at the moment.

When Bullock was injured for the back-to-back games against Wakefield in March, Butler got a chance off the bench for the Super League match but in the Challenge Cup tie was followed, Jack Hughes and Oliver Holmes were preferred as middle-unit options.

If chances at Super League level were not going to come at The Halliwell Jones Stadium, it is only right that he be allowed to seek them elsewhere.

From a club perspective, it gives them a bit of an opening to rectify the aforementioned struggles up front while there is still time to make something of their season, although there are plenty who believe that time has gone.

Butler’s move clears some space on the salary cap and although they may need to make a little more room to bring someone in of the quality they are looking for, it at least gives them room to manoeuvre in terms of mid-season recruitment.

The club are open to adding to their squad if the right player comes up, and now we wait to see whether or not they will attempt to open this window of opportunity a little wider.