Buhrer's potential is 'scary': Manly
He is the young wonder-kid at Manly with unbridled potential, the rugby league world at his feet and a premiership already to his name.
No, this is not another story about Daly Cherry-Evans.
Enter Jamie Buhrer, Manly's 22-year-old 'Mr Fix It' who goes about his business without fanfare but is holding his own in one of the competition's fiercest forward packs.
He only missed one game in the Sea Eagles' 2011 premiership-winning campaign and Manly officials believe he will be a cornerstone of their team for the next decade.
Manly recruitment manager Dave Warwick immediately realised that he had discovered a kid with greatness in him when he signed Buhrer back in 2008.
"He has so much potential it is scary," Warwick told NRL.com.
"He is only going to get better. From my end I would love to see him be a 10-year player with the club. We are not far off that the way things are these days, he is a long-term prospect.
"He is engrained at the club and it won't be too long that in two or three years he will be a senior player at a relatively young age."
Buhrer was an instant success at Manly, leading his under-20s side to the minor premiership in 2009 and earning a spot in the Toyota Cup Team of the Year.
The unassuming workaholic has nestled nicely into one of the fiercest forward packs in the competition and has done more than just hold his own.
His skills were on show against the Panthers on Monday night when he scored the opening try of the game. Getting the ball from a standing start, with seemingly nothing on, Buhrer used his footwork to get outside of New Zealand international Sam McKendry before brushing the Kiwi aside and racing away to score.
It didn't surprise anyone from the Northern Beaches club.
"What I like about him is that he is a genuine footy player," Warwick offers.
"He has good leg speed, all the basic fundamentals to play with and is solid. The thing about Jamie is that he is a genuine rugby league player, he has good skills, technically he does everything right and that is his greatest asset."
Warwick recruited Buhrer from Parramatta as a hooker in 2008, but it didn't take long for him to be moved to the second row because of his ability to run great lines and promote the ball with ease. His ability to play effectively anywhere on the field is a rare commodity.
The Sea Eagles see Buhrer as a younger version of Glenn Stewart – and that is some wrap, considering they call Stewart 'Gifty', as in he is a gift to their football team.
"I actually signed him for our 20s as a hooker and he started there, but then David Penna moved him into the back row because of his good skills," Warwick said.
"That versatility comes from when they are younger. From junior coaches especially at Manly, you don't want to pigeonhole kids to much, Jamie has played several positions and that has all benefited him to where he is now.
"He can play before the line, he can run a hole, all those things that are required. He's not a heavy man, he is still relatively light and as the years go on he will fill out and get more confidence."
The club always had faith that Buhrer had the skills to perform at the top level. But it is his temperament and carefree nature that separates him; he has handled everything thrown his way with aplomb.
Buhrer, remember, is the kid that sat on the bench through two entire first-grade games without getting on the pitch. But if anything, the experience made him hungrier and more determined to succeed when he finally was given his chance.
"One of the things that people don't know about Jamie is that he is very committed, he prepares himself well and he looks after his body, he is a true professional in that sense," Warwick continues.
"All that good temperament stuff, nothing fazes him and he has a good head on his shoulders. I remember when he sat on the bench for the first two games and he didn't get on. I've never seen a kid more nervous to get on the field and to get a game under his belt.
"Once that opportunity came, he never looked back.
"He has had some real good senior players around him on the field and once you gain the support of those senior players, they'll look after you. He understood that and he has never been shy to seek advice from those players like Jamie Lyon, Glenn and Brett Stewart. He was fortunate to come in with an experienced bunch of players."
Buhrer will move back to the bench when Glenn Stewart and Tony Williams return from injury and suspension respectively, but there is no doubt that he plays a vital role in the team.
"When Glenn and Tony come back, he knows his place in the team and his role, but one thing is for sure – he will always be in that 17," Warwick emphasises.
"His versatility is so important to the dynamics of this side.
"We saw him last Monday slot into the backrow and his hole-running was perfect. He was playing like a seasoned player.
"You have to be willing to do the hard work and learn and that is one of his greatest components that he is. His commitment has never been questioned, he has slotted into the team on his own merits and he is humble about what he has done and knows his place in the team. He will improve."
Buhrer will start in the second-row against the Titans at Brookvale Oval on Saturday night.