Manly CEO Tony Mestrov said players clearly agree with the club’s new management, after Reuben Garrick signed a four-year deal that will see him move to center-left.
Garrick had become a target for Newcastle after impressing during his defensive bouts, part of a move that would have brought Kalyn Ponga to five round of 16.
However, Garrick has since delivered some much-needed good news to Manly, with paperwork filed with the NRL for an extension that will keep the 25-year-old at the club until the end of 2027.
“The fact is that Reuben is an important player for the future,” Mestrov told AAP.
He was one of the best players last year and we decided to see what he can do in the centers.
“He will have the opportunity in the next four years.
Culturally he is very important to the club and he is a true leader. “
Garrick’s move means he will likely team up with Tolutau Koula in the centers next year.
Manly will need to find a winger to start the season, with Christian Tuipulotu set to play on the edge as speedster Jason Saab will miss the first few months of recovery after knee surgery.
Garrick’s new signing makes him the most high-profile player to have signed with Manly since manager Des Hasler’s bad outing in October.
The Sea Eagles have endured two months of critical headlines, with drama surrounding Hasler’s exit, Kristie Fulton’s departure, and speeches from a split-up player.
But officials hope Garrick’s signature will help illuminate the end of the tunnel.
Anthony Seibold will be officially announced as the club’s new manager in the coming weeks and will likely arrive towards the end of November.
Shane Flanagan will undergo the first few weeks of pre-season training, with Seibold still finalizing his exit from English rugby.
Jim Dymock will also join as an assistant, while Manly will announce a new head of the show following the release of Don Singe.
Saab, Sean Keppie and Haumole Olakau’atu have also extended their deals in recent weeks.
Jake Trbojevic publicly reaffirmed his and his brother Tom’s commitment to the club, while Daly Cherry-Evans insisted the players be united.
“The players have clearly taken into consideration the vision of where the club wants to go, and that’s where we all see Manly, at the top of the table,” Mestrov said.
“We realize we have a lot of work to do. This is a goal.
“But from the players’ point of view, they understood the changes and integrated them.”