Wednesday 18 October 2017 / 12:55 PM

RECRUITMENT WATCH: SEA EAGLES

Next up in his NRL Recruitment Watch series, NICK TEDESCHI breaks down who the Manly Sea Eagles may be looking at, who they should be going after, and the areas on the roster that need shoring up for 2018.

Needs: Despite travelling better than expected this year and having a lot of starters locked down to contract, Manly need a host of players across the board. On paper they have an incredibly thin pack, and with the likely departure of Brenton Lawrence and Nate Myles they will be clamouring for a prop. The Sea Eagles are also short in the back-row – Jake Trbojevic and Martin Taupau strong starters but there’s not much at the club aside. The fact Jono Wright was named on the wing for the injured Jorge Taufua suggests the Eagles need to either re-sign Taufua or find a replacement pronto. The Sea Eagles have struggled to attract big-name free agents in recent years, which is a concern.

2018 Recruits: Nil

2018 Losses: Brett Stewart, Steve Matai

Off-Contract: Brenton Lawrence, Frank Winterstein, Jorge Taufua, Brad Parker

Rumours: David Klemmer is the biggest name Manly has been linked to. Jorge Taufua is widely expected to leave, with South Sydney and Parramatta two clubs who have their eye on him. Rep forward Nate Myles had been rumoured to retire as injuries are starting to take their toll but it looks like a move to Melbourne is a done deal. Darcy Lussick is also expected to get cut. Dave Taylor has been linked to a move to the Northern Beaches.

Players to Target: Former Bulldogs winger Curtis Rona should be a top priority if the Sea Eagles lose Taufua. David Klemmer is unhappy at Canterbury, and Manly have the need and the cap room to sign him. Alex Glenn or Luke Lewis would be the idea fit as an edge back-rower that is required. Robbie Rochow has been undervalued at Souths but would be a regular starter at Manly. With Manly’s cap room and need for outside backs, throwing a big offer the way of Blake Ferguson is an option. Kevin Naiqama is another who would fit well on a wing.

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About the author

Nick Tedeschi

You will not find a more passionate rugby league man than Nick, whose Making The Nut column has garnered a huge cult following over the last decade. The Sydney-based raconteur co-authored The Book of NRL Lists with CBS stablemate WILL EVANS in 2014 and has penned several other books; he joined the CBS team with his weekly Six Up The Middle feature in 2016.

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