Manly Juniors

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Journey Man
In the "where to from here" thread sue raises the point of the lack of juniors coming from the local area and rising through to the First Grade ranks.

There are probably many reasons for this, but this is what I believe is the main one:

It has been 10 years since shamateurism ended in Rugby Union. Today's 20 year old was 10 years old when that happened and have therefore had "choice" over the code they will play IF they have any talent. The effects of that switch to professionalism are now starting to flow through in full force.

Nowhere is this more prevelent than the North Shore and Northern beaches. You only have to journey from, say, St Ives to Telstra Stadium on the night of a Tri-Series Test to realise that. The traffic jam is created by busload after busload of north siders going to the Test - many of them kids with faces painted yellow.

The battle for the hearts of minds of the next generation is being resoundingly won by Union when it comes to the areas north of the Harbour Bridge. I'd be fascinated to see what the junior numbers in both codes have done over the past ten years. My hunch is that Union will have grown exponentially.

The best example of this new problem for Manly? George Smith the Wallaby flanker. He's a Cromer High boy fer goodness sake. Not even a GPS toff. Imagine him playing in our back row, or even centres? He'd be sensational. But there's no more chance of that than me doing the nude conga from Dubbo to Brookvale this year to celebrate a Top 4 finish.

Your thoughts? (There's other reasons too I believe).

Canteen Worker

First Grader
Also worth noting that there are many clubs playing Rugby with 6 grades and three or four of colts: Manly, Warringah, Eastwood, Gordon and Norths plus a whole lot of CAS and GPS schools in the districts. I haven't even mentioned the Subbies comp which is full of northsiders and there is nary a club west of Parra (apart from the Islander/Tongan/Samoan connection.

Many peninsula footy players do Rugby on Saturday and League on Sunday. Mark Gerrard and Sam Harris are two who played Juniors for Manly. The Rugby pathway is very clear and is well promoted by the NSWRU etc. Superleague killed a lot of junior league and whilst there is a TV interest playing numbers must be a worry!


Journey Man
Gerrard and Harris both went to Union. As did George Smith.

In year's past the lads playing both codes ended up in League (eg Wally Lewis).

Now they go to Union. There's a pathway, more dollars and international travel.

Not to mention that the Union club culture is FAR better and more sophisticated than League, so Mummy would steer them that was anyway.

It means Manly are getting left with the scraps. The introduction of the Western Force will only make this worse.


Reserve Grader
I saw Gerrard at the Roosters game with Dick Harris (Sam's Dad).

Dick left me with some food for though, Gerrard is keen on making the switch..Unlucky that he just signed a 3 year contract.


Journey Man
He can always ask for a release CC. It's not beyond the realms of possibility these days.

Sue, you assertion is correct but not shared beyond the borders of NSW and Queensland.

Globally Union is a far more significant sport. I'm buggered if I can understand how.

The Wheel
Premium Member
I spoke to a guy on the hill early in the season who was Manager of a North Curly Under 17/19 age side which contained both Chad Randall and George Smith.

George was head and shoulders above any player in the side/district at that time. manly were not interested in George, therefore he went to Union - Union didn't grab him - Manly didn't want him. They did go after Chad (for obvious reasons) - this guy took it they Manly didn't like his 'heritage'.

This was the time of the N/Eagles and Manly juniors didn't have 2 bob to rub together so that may have something to do with it.

Apparently there a few good local juniors in the current Ball side.


Journey Man
We that's a buggered up decision with the benefit of hindsight, isn't it?

Must have been the Bears (aka Bob Saunders) that had a hand in that one.

Canteen Worker

First Grader
League blew it in the publicity war when it went missing during SuperLeague.

The power of the media on a little kid, dreaming of playing in the NRL is very powerful. Union has come along way in a short time due to the free intercepts given, both at media level and in the local club network.
it would take a lot to convince me blokes like smith and waugh would be topline league players in the pack.outside backs like mortlock and co maybe- but not salt and pepper dwarves like those two imposters.

The Wheel
Premium Member
Smith would have to be better than Chad, Deadwood and King though which ever way you look at it.


Journey Man
Get ready for another rodgering then Fluffy.

Sarah better cross her legs for a year if the newspaper reports from last night are true.


Journey Man
Smith is fast and hits bloody hard sue. Give him some credit, he's a standout in Union.

He hits like a sledgehammer, is built low to the ground (aka Gillmeister) and has plenty of smarts and toughness.

You seem to have come on board with blue arsed. I'd reckon Smith would be a better backrower than Watmough.
i will watch those clowns punce around the paddock only after i have watched the paint on all 4 walls dry while i have the nails on all all my appendages removed with blunt pliers by a 200 kilo fat female leper in a G string.


Journey Man
Ive just walked through blacktown shopping centre sue - im sure that can be arranged

Mata i really hope your wrong and if not i really hope your right re: sara

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