SEA Eagles prop Siosaia Vave rescued his NRL career this season by cutting out two chicken schnitzels with a side of mashed potato for dinner. Vave revealed Manly coach Trent Barrett issued him with a career-defining ultimatum during the pre-season — trim down his 130kg frame or be cut from the club. “He sat me down two weeks before Christmas and said I’ve got four weeks to lose that weight and if I don’t, he was going to ask me to leave and tell me to find a different club,” Vave said. “Because obviously someone can’t really perform at that level at that weight.” As hard as it was to hear, it was a real wake-up call for the front rower. “I’ve played with Baz and we’ve got no BS between us so it was a real honesty thing,” Vave said. “That moment was pretty crazy. I came out of that office thinking I’ve really got to pull my finger out. “I know him and I played with him (at Cronulla) and I really didn’t want to let him down. “It came to a crossroads where I had to really think where I am with my family.’’ Vave has a three-year-old daughter Lucy and parents who are dependent on him as well. “As an islander you like to give back to your parents and give back to your family,” he said. “Me losing my job because of my weight wound not be a good thing. “I could have been digging holes right now.’’ Realising what was at stake, Vave immediately started a tough training program and completely changed his diet. “I Iook at a Big Mac and I think I put on 2kgs,” he said. “I had to start eating less portions, my portion sizes were pretty crazy. “I think my portion sizes later in the day had to switch and become smaller and obviously no fast food or soft drink. “Night is not a good time to eat two chicken schnitzels with a big side of mash.” Manly teammate Feleti Mateo was a great support and the pair did a lot of training together. “We worked hard over the Christmas break and I didn’t eat too much,” Vave said. “It was kind of hard but good in the long run”. The hard work paid off for Vave, who returned after the Christmas break at 118kg. Despite all the competition for spots among the Sea Eagles props, Vave has been in the NRL squad for the first three rounds. With Marty Taupau and Brenton Lawrence both suspended, Vave will have a more important role in Saturday’s game against the Roosters at Allianz Stadium. And he is ready to get out and add some enthusiasm onto the team, “If I’ve got to blow a few gaskets before I come off, that is my job,” he said.