MEET Manly’s off-season recruits, Tim Robinson and Daniel Harrison - two rookies yet to play in the NRL and replacing 310 games of experience.
Daniel Harrison and Tim Robinson will add depth to Manly's backrow in 2011. Picture - Alex Wisser.
The Sea Eagles kicked off their 2011 NRL campaign yesterday morning with no fuss.
Following the off-season departures of Josh Perry (St Helens), Chris Bailey (London) and Trent Hodkinson (Bulldogs), the club has not added any players of NRL experience to their top squad.
Collectively, those departed Sea Eagles played more than 300 NRL games.
Robinson comes to Manly after failing to break into Parramatta’s top 17 over the past two seasons, while Harrison is aiming to also crack into NRL football after his time at the Bulldogs.
Both young utility forwards will give the Sea Eagles some needed depth.
Another rookie, Daly Cherry-Evans, is also set to start the 2011 season in first grade after Hodkinson’s exit.
Robinson, who played with the Australian Schoolboys’ squad alongside Mitchell Pearce and Chris Lawrence in 2006, said he is excited about his new digs at Narrabeen.
“When I got a call from (recruitment officer) Noel Cleal it was an easy decision,” the 22-year-old said at the Sea Eagles’ first official pre-season training hit-out on Monday at the Sydney Academy of Sport in Narrabeen.
“I needed a fresh start, I had been in the Eels’ top 25 for two years and didn’t get many opportunities.
“Before I met all the (Manly) boys I was a little nervous, it was like being at school again.”
Harrison’s signature sees the back-rower come full circle.
The Central Coast junior represented the Sea Eagles in the junior grades, before jumping ship to Canterbury.
“I just wanted an opportunity and Manly were good enough to throw one my way,” Harrison, a member of the Bulldogs’ winning NSW Cup squad this year, said.
I enjoyed my time here when I was younger, so I am excited to be in a position where I can play consistent NRL,’’ Harrison said.
‘‘Now I have to work hard at training so I can put my hand up to be picked.’’
Manly coach Des Hasler said financial constraints meant the Sea Eagles could not splurge on the player market this time.
‘‘The salary cap,’’ he said when asked why the club has limited new faces.
‘‘We chose to keep the guys who have been proven performers for us the past few years.
‘‘Five years ago we blooded youth . . . now some of those blokes are our representative players.’’