Sport Confidential: Sea Eagles in talks with disgruntled Tiger for immediate switchManly are locked in talks to sign a restless Tiger, with the Sea Eagles looking to bolster their squad immediately due to a horror injury crisis.
Michael Carayannis and Brent Read
Manly have been locked in talks with signing Tigers outside back Tommy Talau on a deal to join the club immediately.
Manly’s outside backs have taken a significant blow in recent weeks with Christian Tuipulotu and Tolutau Koula (both knee) sidelined.
Reuben Garrick (concussion) will miss this week while utility Ben Trbojevic (hamstring) is also sidelined.
That has tested the club’s depth and led them to trying to secure Talau before June 30.
The Sea Eagles have roster spots after allowing young forwards Alec Tuitavake and Viliame Fifita to St George Illawarra last month. The filled one spot as part of a swap with the Dragons for veteran forward Aaron Woods.
Talau is off-contract at season’s end. If the Tigers refuse to let him go early the Sea Eagles are still in the box seat to secure him for 2024 and beyond.
Current Manly centres Brad Parker and Morgan Harper have their deals expiring at the end of the season with Harper unlikely to be retained. They also want to upgrade and extend youngster Koula ahead of a potential approach from rugby union.
Talau has had his own injury concerns, missing the entire last season after tearing his ACL at the end of 2021. He is due to make his return next week from the broken nose he suffered in round two.
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An injury to Brent Naden may stifle the chance of getting Talau in the short-term. Naden will miss between two to four weeks with a shoulder injury. Adam Doueihi’s season ending knee injury also weakens their backline depth.
The Tigers will need to make a few big decisions of their own shortly. Luke Brooks, Daine Laurie and Charlie Staines remain unsigned beyond this year.