Jamie Lyon ready to rock NRL with Manly

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Wayward Eel Jamie Lyon warned he had put in one of the best pre-seasons of his career as he attempts to make a successful comeback to the NRL with Manly.

Lyon walked out on Parramatta in 2004 after playing just a handful of games, but continued his career in England with St Helens where he not only won the "Man of Steel" award in 2005, but landed a premiership last year.

Joining the Sea Eagles on a four-year deal, Lyon said he had put in a gruelling pre-season and wanted to prove to himself, nobody else, that he can again be successful in the NRL.

"(This pre-season) is definitely up there with the best I have done," Lyon said, adding he's settled into the northern beaches with daily swims near his Newport home.

"Only time will tell and you can't beat match fitness.

"I've got nothing to prove to everyone else but more to myself.

"I want to prove to myself that I can still compete and play some good footy.

"Especially with the way I've been training, everything has been looking good and I can't wait to start playing."

His return to the NRL is highly anticipated as there are still ill-feelings about his exit from the Eels and fans are desperate to see if his evolution from flying centre to playmaking five-eighth will continue.

Lyon, 25, said he had spent time training in both positions at Manly, but he is likely to be given first crack at cementing the No.6 spot by coach Des Hasler.

"It doesn't really worry me either way, as long as we're all playing good footy and getting the wins up it doesn't worry me where I play," said Lyon.

Although Lyon did reveal he was excited about the prospect of facing teen sensation Greg Inglis next week on the Sunshine Coast.

Lyon will make his debut for the Sea Eagles in next week's trial against Melbourne and will be given first shot at five-eighth, most likely squaring off with Inglis who is making the transition from outside back to pivot.

"He is a really good player and it's a bit of a different thing for him going to five-eighth and hopefully it's a good battle," he said.

"I think I'm going to play all the (trial) games. It's up to Dessy (Hasler) how much he's going to use all the players."

Manly captain and halfback Matt Orford said he was excited about combining with Lyon in the halves, although he warned the partnership would take time to gel.

"He's fitted straight in and any class player you get to your club is a good thing," Orford said.

"It's going to take a little bit of time to work out each other's game but there's some good signs there already so we're looking forward to it."

Lyon earned a controversial Australian selection last year for the tri-nations series, but said representative duties are not something he will focus too much on in 2007.

"It would be good," he said of a NSW recall. "But it's not on the top of the list.

"I know it's an old cliche but I just want to get some good performances under my belt and get as many wins as I can, that's first and foremost."
"Manly captain and halfback Matt Orford said he was excited about combining with Lyon in the halves, although he warned the partnership would take time to gel."

looks like he is making excuses already for another below par season
Personally i think Lyon will **** all over Inglis in the trial.
While Inglis is a very skilled player , it will take him a little while to get the feel for 5/8 at a 1st grade level. Lyon has done it before.
Bring on 2007 , yeah baby!!!!!
Earl, Lyon played 5/8 for St Helens twice, and was swiftly shifted back to the centres as soon as that gangly English guy came back from injury. The one that said the beaches in the UK are better than ours !!!

Not a gleaming resume for his 5/8 experience. His idol was Fittler, and I think he just wants to be the same as that.

Without go forward though, he'll have no room. THAT'S my real concern. Glenn Stewart, George Rose, Luke Williamson, Shayne Dunley, Michael Monaghan, Mark Bryant, jason King etc etc aren't really names one would expect to see in a grand final unit.

Sorry lads - I know that was negative...
Pretty fair Ryan but who would have thought the Melbourne pack at the start of last season would be a minor premiership winning and grand final pack, think most had written them off. Hopefully our guys stand up like they did.
Same could be said for the Tigers in 2004 - there were plenty who said that their pack was too small, no heart etc. The test for Manly this year will be on how their attitude is when the season starts and what momentum they can build on.
Both the storms starting props struggled to contantly make 100m a game kafousi then played for australia

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