Mannah to share captain duties
Newly-crowned Parramatta skipper Tim Mannah says the team will share the captaincy duties when the prop is rotated off the field during games.
Coach Brad Arthur this week named Mannah as sole captain of the club for the 2015 season after the Eels junior split the role with Jarryd Hayne over the past two years.
"It's different. But to be honest, this year we've got quite a lot of leaders in the team, senior players that can help in terms of that. I don't think I'm solo and on my own. I've definitely got some help around me," Mannah told NRL.com.
In Friday night's season-opener against Manly, Mannah said it will be hookers Nathan Peats and Isaac De Gois who will fill the void when the former NSW representative is rotated to the bench.
"They're going to share it around, give it to different leaders and senior players throughout the season. This week it's going to be the nines. They'll share it around every week," he said.
High-profile signing Anthony Watmough is certain to be among them. Despite it being his first season in Eels colours, Mannah said his new teammate's reputation as a leader preceded him.
"He's definitely a leader in the team, whether he's doing that or not. I dare say the coach sees him as a leader of our team," he said.
In what is a positive sign for the club as it enters the post-Jarryd Hayne era, only approximately 2000 tickets remain available for the grudge match against the Sea Eagles that will feature four ex-Manly players in Watmough, Will Hopoate, David Gower and Darcy Lussick.
The 27-year-old Mannah said that it was crucial for his teammates to not allow their emotions disrupt their focus on completing their individual roles.
"I think it's really important that we don't get overawed by the occasion. It's good to get excited about your footy and want to be out there, but it's also about each player doing what they need to do to get your job done," he said.
"You can feel the excitement. A lot of fans are seeing that without Jarryd, it's not the end of the world. We've still got some really good players here and we're still a club that is very passionate. We love our fans and we'd love having a packed Pirtek Stadium on Friday night."