SEA Eagles forward Josh Starling has revealed he and fellow front-rower Brenton Lawrence have a special motivation following their recall to the NRL side for Monday’s game with the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt.
“This is our last year on contract at Manly and we are hoping to have a good year so we can stay around,” Starling said.
“We want to stay here because it is a good club and we love all the boys. But if it is not meant to be, you have to put yourself in a good position to have somewhere else to go.”
Starling said he was returning to the starting side hungrier after playing in the NSW Cup last weekend.
Sea Eagles prop Brenton Lawrence is back to take on the Tigers..
“I’m pretty pumped, it’s been a really long pre-season. I’m ready to go again,” he said.
“You always want to play first grade but I understood where they were coming from — the calibre of players they have here, it is hard to get angry.
“You can either sit around and kick stones or get out there and work hard and try and get in the team.”
And he knows with the depth of front-rowers at the club — Darcy Lussick, Luke Burgess and rising star Liam Knight are all in the NSW Cup team this week — there is pressure to perform.
“There are plenty of people who are going to come up and jump in your spot if you are not ready,” Starling said.
He said he had played a fair bit of first grade now and knew what it took to get into the team and stay there.
“That is what I want to do, I feel like I am a first-grader and I don’t want to be the sort of guy who just comes up and down — that is a good replacement in case someone gets injured,” he said.
“I’m hoping to cement my spot wherever I can.”