Manly's new arrival 'Wright' on time
The Sea Eagles will head into Saturday night's blockbuster Brookvale showdown against the Cowboys without star duo Brett Stewart and Tom Trbojevic after their coach Trent Barrett officially ruled the pair out ahead of Friday's captain's run.
Stewart (hamstring) and Trbojevic (ankle) were both named on Tuesday but were never any realistic chance of lining up against the defending premiers after picking up injuries in Newcastle on Anzac Day.
"We're a bit busted up and we've had a few disruptions to the team but we'll see how a few of them pull up after the captain's run this morning," Barrett said.
"'Snake' (Brett Stewart) and Tom Trbojevic are definitely out. We'll get a check on a couple more of them today so this is the first time we've run since the game, so a couple of them are still in a little bit of doubt. Hopefully fingers crossed we can get through."
With his two main choices for fullback sitting on the sidelines, Barrett is still undecided as to who will wear the No.1 jersey against the Cowboys.
"Brayden Williame was there at the end of last week," the Sea Eagles coach said.
"We've got Matthew Wright who came down last week. He hasn't trained with us yet but he'll get a run this morning. We'll make the final decision on the final line-up after this session this morning, but I've got a few options there."
Wright only signed with the Sea Eagles last week after being granted an early release from his contract with the Cowboys.
Barrett said there was "no hesitation at all" to rush the winger into the side given Manly's mounting injury toll, as well as growing pressures on the side's second tier salary cap.
"I actually played with him when I was at Cronulla. He was only 17 then and I was at the other end of it. He's going to be valuable to us, and to get him this week, it's ironic that he plays the club that he left three days ago," his new coach said.
"It came about pretty quickly actually just on the back of all the injuries that we've got. It's just lucky for us that he is here this week because we would have been in a fair bit of trouble. We've used a lot of players this year already. We're a fair way into our second tier already. We really needed him to come."
Having played 34 games at North Queensland across the past two seasons, Wright knows better than most what it takes to handle his former club, but Barrett insists there is no pressure on his new recruit to cough up any inside information.
"It is valuable, but he hasn't shared too much of it with us," the rookie coach said.
"He doesn't say much 'Wrighty' and I don't want to put that pressure on him. I'll have a bit more of a chat with him today [given] he does know a fair bit about them."
There was some good news for the Sea Eagles with dynamic dummy-half Matt Parcell given the all clear to return for the first time since Round 6. He will shift into the starting side if Apisai Koroisau fails to overcome a knock he picked up against the Knights.
"He [Koroisau] is going to train this morning. He's 50-50," Barrett announced.
"He hasn't run so we haven't been able to do much. We'll know in a couple of hours. I cross my fingers that Api's alright because he's important to us and been one of our better players."
Despite the loss of key personnel, Barrett said the onus was on the players selected to get the job done in a game that could have significant top eight implications.
"It's not ideal but it's not an excuse for us. We're really keen to get out there and win," he said.
"A win this week would put us in a very good position on the table. The Tigers probably did us a favour last night by beating Souths. We could probably go as high as sixth if we win on Saturday night so it's an important one for us."