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Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Jatz Crackers, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. Jatz Crackers

    Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

    +1,476 /8
    from the Courier Mail Steve Ricketts :

    MANLY is set to step up its efforts to sign North Queensland Cowboys Test star Luke O'Donnell to replace retired skipper Ben Kennedy. The Sea Eagles have already held talks with O'Donnell's management and their failure to lure Paul Gallen from Cronulla or Sonny Bill Williams from the Bulldogs means the Cowboys star will be the main focus of their attention.

    O'Donnell, who has also attracted interest from rugby union, is reportedly keen to return to Sydney for family reasons and Manly would be the ideal fit, given the club has put together a strong roster with the obvious gap the one left by Kennedy's retirement.

    New Zealand Test centre Steve Matai is favourite for Manly's lock spot this year, although he may have to play centre if coach Des Hasler persists with Jamie Lyon at five-eighth instead of Queenslander Travis Burns.

    The Cowboys had hoped to re-sign O'Donnell before the start of the NRL season, but with the first-round clash with Brisbane to be played at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night that seems unlikely.

    Manly football manager Peter Peters yesterday confirmed the club's interest in O'Donnell. "Des Hasler has met Luke's manager Wayne Beavis and we'd certainly love to have Luke here," Peters said.

    Manly plays Canberra at Brookvale Oval on Saturday with the Raiders' former Broncos centre/winger Craig Frawley making a belated bid for selection in a low-key trial against Newcastle club Raymond Terrace on Saturday.

    Frawley, who has been battling a foot injury, played 50 minutes and scored a try in the 54-16 win but it is unlikely he will get a start against Manly, given his lack of match practice.

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