I can understand when Peters is coming from but if the surgery fails I see him moving to the centres and his next contract taking up nowhere as much of the salary cap
NRL 2023 news: Sea Eagles face shock call to cut superstar fullback Tom Trbojevic
Manly have been urged to make the “business decision” to release Tom Trbojevic as the superstar fullback fights ongoing hamstring injuries in the USA.
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January 15, 2023 - 2:39PM
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Manly should make the “business decision” to release Tom Trbojevic
if his mercy dash to the US to fix repeated hamstring injuries fails.
That’s the stunning claim from premiership-winning former Sea Eagle Peter Peters after Trbojevic flew out to Philadelphia on Saturday to work with renowned injury rehabilitation specialist Bill Knowles.
Peters fears Trbojevic could be forced into early retirement if he is unable to overcome his injury history, and also believes Manly should hide him in the centres in their NRL season opener against Canterbury to protect the superstar fullback.
Since making his NRL debut in Round 5 in 2015, Trbojevic has played 121 games for the Sea Eagles. However, he’s managed to play 20-plus games in just three of his eight seasons in the top grade.
With Trbojevic, brother Jake and captain Daly Cherry-Evans taking up a quarter of Manly’s total salary cap, Peters said the Sea Eagles potentially had a big decision to make on the 2021 Dally M Medallist.
There are fears Tom Trbojevic could be forced into early retirement. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
Asked by Canterbury’s Josh Reynolds on the Big Sports Breakfast Weekend on Sunday whether Manly should consider releasing Trbojevic to a rival club due to his hamstring issues, Peters was unequivocal.
“Yes, if it continues,” Peters said.
“I think it’s a business decision. He may have to take an early retirement if it keeps going.
“He’s played (121) games and he made his debut back in 2015. It’s just not enough games.
“He’s a superstar but it’s like having a Lamborghini full of petrol in the garage, but you can’t drive it because, mechanically, it’s not sound.
“It’s a huge make-or-break for Turbo’s career in the NRL. He’s 26, he’s got so many good years in front of him, if he’s fit.”
Trbojevic will become the third NRL star to seek the help of Knowles, who got South Sydney fullback Latrell Mitchell back on the field last year, and is currently working with the Melbourne Storm’s Ryan Papenhuyzen on his knee as he continues his recovery from a shocking patella fracture.
Trbojevic injured his hamstring in pre-season training prior to Christmas, but is expected to be fit to start the season.
Peters believes playing Trbojevic at fullback and forcing him to cover extra ground to deal with Bulldogs five-eighth Matt Burton’s kicking game is an unnecessary risk to take for Round 1.
Trbojevic’s bandaged hamstring. Picture: Julian Andrews
Manly stalwart Peter Peters. Picture: Brett Costello
“Certainly for game one in 2023 if he’s right, and all indications are that he will be, against the Bulldogs at 4 Pines Park. The towering bombs from Matt Burton are exactly what they don’t need to be under first-up,” Peters said.
“I would be playing Kaeo Weekes or Reuben Garrick in the fullback spot.
“Turbo doesn’t need the first-up test that Burton would bring.”
“Weekes, in the final game of 2022, in pouring rain against the Bulldogs, fielded every high kick except one from Matt Burton.
“It was a great exhibition of fullback play. I’d play the kid and put Tommy in the centres.”