THERE has been a changing of the guard with the time- honoured, energy-sucking annual summer beep test at the Manly Sea Eagles.
It has always been the domain of super-fit hooker Matt Ballin. However, he has finally been pipped in the contest by prop Brenton Lawrence.
Both players topped the 13 mark for the 20m stop/start torture test against the clock.
Manly's fitness guru Donny Singe was full of admiration for the pair.
"For men of their size and bulk to achieve such a standard is a testimony to their fitness," he said.
"Matt Ballin has made the contest boring over the years, so it was great to see him matched by Brenton."
WELCOME BACK WILL
HE WAS the success story of 2011 and after two years away from the game serving on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, brilliant local product Will Hopoate is back in rugby league.
He will make a sentimental return to Brookvale Oval in new colours in a few weeks in the Manly v Parramatta trial.
His appearance against his old club, where he had great success, will attract massive media attention.
LOOK for powerhouse winger Jorge Taufua to be even more explosive this year.
Taufua has been throwing weights around like they are cotton buds and has increased his speed since last year's grand final defeat to the Roosters.
He has been impressive in training since his return from the World Cup.