from Friday's Manly Daily. How will Dean Ritchie spin this? Boys come first RUGBY LEAGUE 24 NOV 11 @ 05:59PM BY JON GEDDES The Sea Eagles won't be playing a warm up game in England before the World Club Challenge. THE Sea Eagles have put player welfare ahead of a potential $150,000 financial windfall by declining to play a lead-up game in England ahead of their World Club Challenge clash with Leeds in February. St Helens put a proposal to the NRL premiers about playing an exhibition game to christen their new stadium before the showdown with the Super League champions. Sources in England have told the Manly Daily the Sea Eagles were offered an incentive in the vicinity of $150,000 to play. â€œI was very transparent with the football staff through the whole process but player welfare was always No.1 priority,â€ Sea Eagles COO David Perry said. After consulting with coach Geoff Toovey and head trainer Don Singe, the decision was made to decline the offer. â€œI always had to listen to the opportunity and I wouldnâ€™t be doing my job otherwise,â€ Perry said. â€œBut the whole way along my recommendation to the football department was that we didnâ€™t play that extra game. â€œWe play the Warriors away in round one and time away was always going to be a big issue for us. â€œWe also want the players to enjoy the experience in England as a bit of a reward for winning the competition. â€œI think it was the best decision for the club to decline the offer.â€ He said the players also supported the decision and it would give them a better chance of winning back-to-back titles. The Sea Eagles will take a full-strength 20-man squad to England in the clubâ€™s first big test after all the off-season upheavals. â€œWe are there to win and that is another reason we decided against playing St Helens,â€ Perry said. â€œThe turnaround time between those two games was always going to be a challenge and if any players got injured the recovery time was always going to be harder being away from home.â€ The Sea Eagles will prepare for the clash with Leeds playing Cronulla at Toyota Park in a twilight match on February 3 in a trial game that had been scheduled 12 months ago. A second trial against the Warriors on the Sunshine Coast has had to be cancelled.