Rugby Working Hard to Keep Players in the Fold

Canteen Worker

First Grader
From Saturdays Manly Daily:

Marlins to make intentions clear

THE Manly Marlins will take the unprecedented step of asking their elite players to sign letters of intent before embarking on preparations for their centenary season in 2006.

In what translates to a vow of commitment, players will be asked to pledge their allegiance six months before next year's kick-off so coach Rod Cutler can formalise his playing roster.

The letters are not legally binding and don't contain financial inducements.

It's the first time in Manly's 99-year history that the club has asked for an official undertaking from players so far out from the next season.

"We are basically saying the club is committed to the cause and now we're asking the individual to commitment himself to the club," Cutler explained yesterday.

"We want a commitment that they want to be here and want to be part of what we're doing.

"The last thing we want is for someone to start on our training program and then take off in January and February and leave me to search around for a replacement."

First grade prop and club captain Reuben Bijl has welcomed the innovative move.

"I know where they are coming from and fully support it," he said.

"In this day and age there is a lot of player movement and a coach just wants to know who he has got to work with for next season."

The move to tie players up early comes after Manly's four leading junior clubs Roos, Harlequins, Raiders and Forest were officially welcomed into Manly's Rugby Academy.

Young players will now have a clear pathway from junior rugby to colts and on to grade.

"I am very passionate about junior development and we want the clubs to feel part of the senior club and to have an affinity with the Marlins," Cutler said.


Journey Man
I've been saying for 18 months that Union is the greatest threat and drain to juniors players coming through the Sea Eagles' ranks.


Reserve Grader
Union is hardly a threat, there are only 140 professional Union players in the whole country. Try and compare the prestige of a Marlins or Rats jersey with a Sea Eagles one.

Canteen Worker

First Grader
I am not sure I agree. It is more about prestige, culture and opportunity rather than just money.

League for many years lived on being able to pick and choose good rugby talent. Doesn't happen any more. Rugby is nurturing their players young and academies such as the one mentioned are a threat as it will keep players in Rugby. Kids going to league will be those not making there rather than the other way around.


Reserve Grader
Mata said that it will be a drain on players coming through the Sea Eagles ranks. I can't see too many players leaving Manly with an opportunity to play first grade in the future for Union, which the equivalent offers no money and a niche following.


Journey Man
c_eagle, if you honestly believe that players in the Sydney Club scene are not being paid you are sadly way off the mark.

Union juniors are growing exponentially on the North Shore and there are plenty more good opportunities for good young players in Union than there are in League.

Then you have the little matter of the North Shore demographic having regular nonsense foisted on them by a working class, commercial radio dinosaur that still lives in the 1970s.

No wonder the convoys of BMWs are headed to Union games on a Saturday morning.

Canteen Worker

First Grader
I can confirm that any slightly good Rugby player is being feted big time by a whole lot of clubs. They have a very good pathway to the top and incentives are given. Anyone with a skerrick of a possibility of playing for NSW Schools or Aussie schools generally hangs on now.

Not long ago a lot of peninsula boys played Rugby on Sat and League on Sunday, with the chance to Rep for Manly the thing that swung them the way of League. Now it is not so clear.

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