The Sei-build

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DUFFMAN

Bencher

Inside Manly’s signing spree: Who else has re-signed, who is on the chopping block and where to next?​

Manly has just completed one of the richest recruitment weeks in the club’s history — and they are not done with yet, writes MICHAEL CARAYANNIS.


Manly’s multimillion-dollar spending spree is far from over with the Sea Eagles making it clear their premiership window is fast-approaching.
The Sea Eagles outlaid about $10 million worth of signings last week headlined by the impending arrival of Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks and the big money re-signings of Josh Schuster and Tolutau Koula.
They also added outside backs Jaxson Paulo and Tommy Talau.
“We believe we are coming into a premiership window,” said Manly boss Tony Mestrov. “You’ve seen us be quite aggressive in the player market. That’s no fluke. We believe we have players that have special talents that can compete for premierships.
“We’re not getting ahead of ourselves but we want to be a top year team year-on-year.”

Josh Schuster signed a lucrative new deal to stay with Manly. Picture: NRL PHotos


Josh Schuster signed a lucrative new deal to stay with Manly.
The Sea Eagles are far from finished. It can be revealed that:
– Aaron Woods, Brad Parker, Christian Tuipulotu, Ethan Bullemor, Jamie Humphreys, Kaeo Weekes and Raymond Vaega are set to extend their time at the club.
– Big man Taniela Paseka is on the verge of a long-term deal.
– Samuela and Latu Fainu may not be the only players on the move, with Sean Keppie and Zac Fulton linked to early exits despite being contracted.
— Morgan Boyle and Morgan Harper are unlikely to be offered new deals.
— The club remains on the lookout for a Tom Trbojevic replacement for the rest of the season.
– Manly wants to add an experienced prop.

ALL-OUT ATTACK
The signing of Brooks followed by Schuster’s decision a day later to recommit to the club until the end of 2027 raised some eyebrows. Schuster will be forced into a positional switch but the Brooks, Schuster, Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans combination looms as one of the most potent attacking units in the competition.
“It gives us an incredible attacking unit,” Mestrov said.
“The first thing that impressed us with Luke was the amount of resilience he has shown. Being at the Tigers he has been getting so much criticism but has played through that. That is a big attraction.
“No player has copped more flak than Luke and it has been unnecessary. He and Daly will complement each other. No matter the number on Josh’s back he will continue to play the same.
“Josh loves the club. He stayed for less. It was a very quick negotiation.”

Luke Brooks will join the Sea Eagles in 2024. Picture: NRL Photos


PRICE OF GOING ALL IN
Something had to give at the Sea Eagles given their rich spending spree and it will come at the cost of rising stars – the Fainu brothers. Latu had long been earmarked as a future elite NRL half but he and his back-rower brother Samuela could leave the club as early as this month. Latu’s rich deal where he would join the top 30 next season made it difficult to carry him on their books.
The brothers met the Tigers on Wednesday night and have already sat down with Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett.
“They are a long-term project and it is a salary cap issue,” Mestrov said.

Manly-backs_3xaUDX9_9.jpg



Halfback: Jake Arthur​

Arrived at the club recently and will be there until the end of 2025.

Manly-backs_oim-FM2HQY.jpg


Five-eighth: Josh Schuster​

Just inked a new three-year extension taking him through to the 2027 season. His new contract is worth about $2.5 million.


Centre: Tommy Talau​

Versatile player who, like Brooks, joins the club from the Tigers. Signed a two-year deal.


Winger: Raymond Vaega​

Capable winger who has agreed to a new one-year deal.


Winger: Christian Tuipulotu​

Contracted until the end of 2024. But has already taken up a new one year deal which will keep him at the club until the end of 2025.


Fullback: Kaeo Weekes​

Utility back has agreed to a 12-month extension.


Winger/Centre: Jaxson Paulo​

Roosters outside back who has signed to join Manly on a three-year contract.


Halfback: Daly Cherry-Evans​

Manly skipper still at the top of his game. Contracted until the end of 2025.


Fullback: Tom Trbojevic​

Injured superstar who has a deal until the end of 2026.


Centre: Morgan Harper​

Contract won’t be renewed. Sea Eagles unlikely to stand in his way if he wanted to make a mid-season move.


Halfback: Luke Brooks​

Agreed to a four year deal until the end of 2027 where he will partner Cherry-Evans in the halves.


Winger: Jason Saab​

Manly flyer who has a long-term deal until the end of 2026.


Winger/Centre: Reuben Garrick​

Valuable outside back whose deal keeps him at the club until 2026.



Halfback: Latu Fainu​

Has a top 30 contract next season but has been told he can move on immediately. Tigers frontrunners to land his signature but the Dolphins are also circling.


Halfback: Jamie Humphreys​

On a development deal this year but has received a top 30 contract for next season.


Centre: Brad Parker​

Manly junior who is off-contract at the end of season. Expected to sign a new two year deal with the club.

“Latu is going to be a terrific player in the future. But he is 18 and a little way away from playing regular first grade. We felt the club needed to be in a position to have potential immediate success and we see that opportunity with Daly and Luke.”
The brothers might not be the only players headed for the exits. The last remaining Fulton – Zac who has played just one NRL game – could also be on the move having been linked to the Tigers.
Keppie has also attracted immediate interest after being dumped to NSW Cup this week.
Manly-forwards_FXRZbyYq_.jpg




Manly forwards​

Manly-forwards_KAXWnUdUoS.jpg


Lock: Zac Fulton​

The last remaining Fulton at the club. Despite having 12 months left on his contract he too could be moved on before his deal expires.


Prop: Morgan Boyle​

A free agent who is unlikely to be at the club next season. Hasn’t played first grade this year and featured in just three games in 2021 and 2022.


Prop: Sean Keppie​

Despite having a deal until the end of 2026 could be squeezed out of the club because of salary cap constraints. Plenty of rival clubs already keen.


Second-rower: Kelma Tuilagi​

In the first year of a three year deal at Manly. Rival clubs interested given Manly’s planned back-row switch for Schuster.


Second-rower: Samuela Fainu​

Has been given permission to leave the club. Tigers and Dolphins among the frontrunners for his signature.


Second-rower: Ben Trbojevic​

Contracted until the end of next year. Club keen to extend.


Second-rower: Ben Condon​

Arrived this season. Contracted until 2025.


Second-rower: Haumole Olakatu'atu​

The next big player the Sea Eagles are looking to tie down. Rival clubs already putting the feelers out despite the back-rower being contracted until the end of 2025. Was given un upgrade this year but Manly working on a new deal.


Prop: Taniela Paseka​

Club has put together a new three year deal for the towering prop his contract ends at the end of next season. They are confident Paseka will extend shortly.


Second-rower: Ethan Bullemor​

One of three players to have played every game this season. Contract expires this year but has a two year deal on the table that he is likely to take up.


Prop: Josh Aloiai​

Up and down form so far this year but still has two years left on his deal.


Prop: Toafofoa Sipley​

Forward leader who has a contract for another two years.


Lock: Jake Trbojevic​

Contracted until the end of 2026

Hooker: Lachlan Croker​

Reliable hooker who still has 12 months left on his deal.



Prop: Aaron Woods​

The 32-year-old has been offered a 12 month extension after joining the club from the Dragons earlier this year. Will be there in 2024.


NOT GIVING UP ON 2023
Trbojevic’s injury threatens to derail Manly’s 2023 season. Manly were 13th on the ladder heading into this round and are one point behind the Roosters who they play on Sunday. The club made a play for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to fill Trbojevic’s role for the rest of the year but were told he needed six weeks to get himself physically right.
“That’s an ongoing process,” Mestrov said.
“We can’t replace Tom but we’re trying to bring in a quality player to boost our chances of making the top eight. That’s a work in progress. It’s not as easy as everything thinks. Players aren’t available and clubs are reluctant to let back-up fullbacks go but we have the money (about $350,000) set aside.”
 
Last edited:

Budgie

In for the long haul.
2016 Tipping Competitor
Tipping Member

Inside Manly’s signing spree: Who else has re-signed, who is on the chopping block and where to next?​

Manly has just completed one of the richest recruitment weeks in the club’s history — and they are not done with yet, writes MICHAEL CARAYANNIS.


Manly’s multimillion-dollar spending spree is far from over with the Sea Eagles making it clear their premiership window is fast-approaching.
The Sea Eagles outlaid about $10 million worth of signings last week headlined by the impending arrival of Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks and the big money re-signings of Josh Schuster and Tolutau Koula.
They also added outside backs Jaxson Paulo and Tommy Talau.
“We believe we are coming into a premiership window,” said Manly boss Tony Mestrov. “You’ve seen us be quite aggressive in the player market. That’s no fluke. We believe we have players that have special talents that can compete for premierships.
“We’re not getting ahead of ourselves but we want to be a top year team year-on-year.”

Josh Schuster signed a lucrative new deal to stay with Manly. Picture: NRL PHotos


Josh Schuster signed a lucrative new deal to stay with Manly.
The Sea Eagles are far from finished. It can be revealed that:
– Aaron Woods, Brad Parker, Christian Tuipulotu, Ethan Bullemor, Jamie Humphreys, Kaeo Weekes and Raymond Vaega are set to extend their time at the club.
– Big man Taniela Paseka is on the verge of a long-term deal.
– Samuela and Latu Fainu may not be the only players on the move, with Sean Keppie and Zac Fulton linked to early exits despite being contracted.
— Morgan Boyle and Morgan Harper are unlikely to be offered new deals.
— The club remains on the lookout for a Tom Trbojevic replacement for the rest of the season.
– Manly wants to add an experienced prop.

ALL-OUT ATTACK
The signing of Brooks followed by Schuster’s decision a day later to recommit to the club until the end of 2027 raised some eyebrows. Schuster will be forced into a positional switch but the Brooks, Schuster, Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans combination looms as one of the most potent attacking units in the competition.
“It gives us an incredible attacking unit,” Mestrov said.
“The first thing that impressed us with Luke was the amount of resilience he has shown. Being at the Tigers he has been getting so much criticism but has played through that. That is a big attraction.
“No player has copped more flak than Luke and it has been unnecessary. He and Daly will complement each other. No matter the number on Josh’s back he will continue to play the same.
“Josh loves the club. He stayed for less. It was a very quick negotiation.”

Luke Brooks will join the Sea Eagles in 2024. Picture: NRL Photos


PRICE OF GOING ALL IN
Something had to give at the Sea Eagles given their rich spending spree and it will come at the cost of rising stars – the Fainu brothers. Latu had long been earmarked as a future elite NRL half but he and his back-rower brother Samuela could leave the club as early as this month. Latu’s rich deal where he would join the top 30 next season made it difficult to carry him on their books.
The brothers met the Tigers on Wednesday night and have already sat down with Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett.
“They are a long-term project and it is a salary cap issue,” Mestrov said.

Manly-backs_3xaUDX9_9.jpg



Halfback: Jake Arthur​

Arrived at the club recently and will be there until the end of 2025.

Manly-backs_oim-FM2HQY.jpg


Five-eighth: Josh Schuster​

Just inked a new three-year extension taking him through to the 2027 season. His new contract is worth about $2.5 million.


Centre: Tommy Talau​

Versatile player who, like Brooks, joins the club from the Tigers. Signed a two-year deal.


Winger: Raymond Vaega​

Capable winger who has agreed to a new one-year deal.


Winger: Christian Tuipulotu​

Contracted until the end of 2024. But has already taken up a new one year deal which will keep him at the club until the end of 2025.


Fullback: Kaeo Weekes​

Utility back has agreed to a 12-month extension.


Winger/Centre: Jaxson Paulo​

Roosters outside back who has signed to join Manly on a three-year contract.


Halfback: Daly Cherry-Evans​

Manly skipper still at the top of his game. Contracted until the end of 2025.


Fullback: Tom Trbojevic​

Injured superstar who has a deal until the end of 2026.


Centre: Morgan Harper​

Contract won’t be renewed. Sea Eagles unlikely to stand in his way if he wanted to make a mid-season move.


Halfback: Luke Brooks​

Agreed to a four year deal until the end of 2027 where he will partner Cherry-Evans in the halves.


Winger: Jason Saab​

Manly flyer who has a long-term deal until the end of 2026.


Winger/Centre: Reuben Garrick​

Valuable outside back whose deal keeps him at the club until 2026.



Halfback: Latu Fainu​

Has a top 30 contract next season but has been told he can move on immediately. Tigers frontrunners to land his signature but the Dolphins are also circling.


Halfback: Jamie Humphreys​

On a development deal this year but has received a top 30 contract for next season.


Centre: Brad Parker​

Manly junior who is off-contract at the end of season. Expected to sign a new two year deal with the club.

“Latu is going to be a terrific player in the future. But he is 18 and a little way away from playing regular first grade. We felt the club needed to be in a position to have potential immediate success and we see that opportunity with Daly and Luke.”
The brothers might not be the only players headed for the exits. The last remaining Fulton – Zac who has played just one NRL game – could also be on the move having been linked to the Tigers.
Keppie has also attracted immediate interest after being dumped to NSW Cup this week.
Manly-forwards_FXRZbyYq_.jpg




Manly forwards​

Manly-forwards_KAXWnUdUoS.jpg


Lock: Zac Fulton​

The last remaining Fulton at the club. Despite having 12 months left on his contract he too could be moved on before his deal expires.


Prop: Morgan Boyle​

A free agent who is unlikely to be at the club next season. Hasn’t played first grade this year and featured in just three games in 2021 and 2022.


Prop: Sean Keppie​

Despite having a deal until the end of 2026 could be squeezed out of the club because of salary cap constraints. Plenty of rival clubs already keen.


Second-rower: Kelma Tuilagi​

In the first year of a three year deal at Manly. Rival clubs interested given Manly’s planned back-row switch for Schuster.


Second-rower: Samuela Fainu​

Has been given permission to leave the club. Tigers and Dolphins among the frontrunners for his signature.


Second-rower: Ben Trbojevic​

Contracted until the end of next year. Club keen to extend.


Second-rower: Ben Condon​

Arrived this season. Contracted until 2025.


Second-rower: Haumole Olakatu'atu​

The next big player the Sea Eagles are looking to tie down. Rival clubs already putting the feelers out despite the back-rower being contracted until the end of 2025. Was given un upgrade this year but Manly working on a new deal.


Prop: Taniela Paseka​

Club has put together a new three year deal for the towering prop his contract ends at the end of next season. They are confident Paseka will extend shortly.


Second-rower: Ethan Bullemor​

One of three players to have played every game this season. Contract expires this year but has a two year deal on the table that he is likely to take up.


Prop: Josh Aloiai​

Up and down form so far this year but still has two years left on his deal.


Prop: Toafofoa Sipley​

Forward leader who has a contract for another two years.


Lock: Jake Trbojevic​

Contracted until the end of 2026

Hooker: Lachlan Croker​

Reliable hooker who still has 12 months left on his deal.



Prop: Aaron Woods​

The 32-year-old has been offered a 12 month extension after joining the club from the Dragons earlier this year. Will be there in 2024.


NOT GIVING UP ON 2023
Trbojevic’s injury threatens to derail Manly’s 2023 season. Manly were 13th on the ladder heading into this round and are one point behind the Roosters who they play on Sunday. The club made a play for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to fill Trbojevic’s role for the rest of the year but were told he needed six weeks to get himself physically right.
“That’s an ongoing process,” Mestrov said.
“We can’t replace Tom but we’re trying to bring in a quality player to boost our chances of making the top eight. That’s a work in progress. It’s not as easy as everything thinks. Players aren’t available and clubs are reluctant to let back-up fullbacks go but we have the money (about $350,000) set aside.”
Love it!

Except the Aloiai bit, would have loved to have read of his imminent departure.
 

08Dream

Member
Tipping Member
Pretty happy with all of that, Aaron Woods extending means we will actually be paying for him next year which isnt ideal.
Not sure how big of a pay cut DCE took on his contract extension but Turbo could be our only million dollar man next year which hopefully means a more balanced roster.
 

hozza

Bencher
Keppie has had plenty of chances to cement himself as a starter but constantly come up short. Ok if he gets the punt. Happy the club are taking chances, gives hope.

If he does I’d be going after Braden Hamlin-Uele from the sharks. Probably don’t have the coin but it would be nice.

 

Seagles68

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member
It might just be me but that forward pack just doesn't feel very well balanced. I know Keps has some issues but I wouldn't be letting him go. Not fussed about Fulton coz I expected him to come on more this year but doesn't seem to have been lighting up reggies.

But we look seriously short of at least one quality forward. I don't know how others feel about this but it doesn't feel right.
 
We have far too many big body's in the forwards we need a working type in the reuben cotter mould to balance the pack out. Happy to see keppie move on has potential but consistently has silly errors in his game
 

hozza

Bencher
It might just be me but that forward pack just doesn't feel very well balanced. I know Keps has some issues but I wouldn't be letting him go. Not fussed about Fulton coz I expected him to come on more this year but doesn't seem to have been lighting up reggies.

But we look seriously short of at least one quality forward. I don't know how others feel about this but it doesn't feel right.
Agree 100% , just need a true metre eater. Someone that loves the contact but doesn’t give stupid penalties or drop balls. A workman..
 

Thewestisbest

Reserve Grader
It might just be me but that forward pack just doesn't feel very well balanced. I know Keps has some issues but I wouldn't be letting him go. Not fussed about Fulton coz I expected him to come on more this year but doesn't seem to have been lighting up reggies.

But we look seriously short of at least one quality forward. I don't know how others feel about this but it doesn't feel right.
It will depend on what forward recruitment has they're eyes on. There is a lot to play out in this scenario yet. If we manage to land a hard nosed prop who can be that forward leader we need beside Jake, then it's probably a good thing. I have a feeling we might be keen on Lodge.
 

NYEagle

Bencher
Shipping Kelma and Keppie out will hopefully make room. Both are playing at their best level, but unfortunately a lack of workload in the case of Kelma and discipline in the case of Kelpie just prevent their staying being a benefit.

I am really happy to see the club is making everything very clear to fans and have a strong vision for next year onward..

NYEagle
 

Seagles68

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member
It will depend on what forward recruitment has they're eyes on. There is a lot to play out in this scenario yet. If we manage to land a hard nosed prop who can be that forward leader we need beside Jake, then it's probably a good thing. I have a feeling we might be keen on Lodge.
I'm afraid the stench of Lodge is too strong for my liking. And how much would he cost anyway. You could be right but I hope not.
 

Seagles68

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member
I was just looking at the forwards off contract and no one really jumps out as someone we should really go after. How do folks feel about getting Liam Knight back in to the fold. He seems to have gotten his life straightened out altho he's had some bad luck with injury. But geeez, I'd rather have him back than someone like Lodge.
 

Adz

Reserve Grader
Would love Luke Thompson,off contract and would be a good workmanlike complement to the guys we have.
Mavrik Geyer from the Panthers would be a good pick,been pretty good for their Reggie's and is behind their deep roster of backrowers
On a dev contract this year and would not break the bank.
 
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13 10 3 80 22
13 9 4 110 20
12 7 5 64 18
12 7 5 -37 18
13 7 6 133 16
13 7 6 81 16
13 7 6 47 16
13 7 6 -34 16
13 6 6 27 15
13 6 6 26 15
14 7 7 -26 14
13 6 7 -47 14
13 4 9 -111 10
12 3 9 -123 10
12 3 9 -136 10
12 2 10 -137 8
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