Manly players want to stay regardless of Barrett's future
The rumoured exodus of players from a supposed Manly sinking ship seems far-fetched if you listen to forwards Martin Taupau, Kelepi Tanginoa or centre Moses Suli.
Suli is off contract at the end of the 2018 Telstra Premiership season, Tanginoa is expected to stay with the club on a short-term deal, while the future of head coach Trent Barrett seems the furthest thing from their minds when it comes to making a decision.
"Not really. I'm enjoying my time here. If they're willing to re-sign me, I'm ready to take the deal," Suli said on Monday.
Tanginoa, a former Junior Kangaroo and NSW Under-20s player, is at his third club after two years with Parramatta and a year with the Cowboys.
"I really want to stay," he said.
"It's the playing group. There's a good vibe about it – everyone is down to earth, everyone talks to each other. I feel part of a family here."
Taupau has two more years to run on his deal but has been targeted as someone who is itching to get out.
But for a third time this year Taupau said he was mystified by where the rumours were coming from of his impending departure from the Sea Eagles.
"I got told this morning something was said last night. I want to know where this is coming from. I haven't had any conversation with anyone, anywhere," he said on Monday.
"I think you guys (in the media) all know that is a breach of contract. I know that. I have read my contract inside and out. I haven't had a conversation with anyone."
He is also unmoved about Barrett staying or going.
"Not worried at all. At the end of the day we as rugby league players do the best that we can do to our ability on the rugby league field," he said.
"Baz (Barrett) is our coach and he is a grown man. With everything that is happening externally, he is dealing with it to the best he can deal with it."
Taupau is also at ease with the current situation at the club, seeming at odds with skipper Daly Cherry-Evans who indicated he would like to speak freely at a later date on the rift between the football department and the club administration.
"There is no division between the playing group, the administration or anything. It is obviously very difficult being where we are in our position on the ladder," Taupau said.
"For (Cherry-Evans) to make that comment, it was coming on the back of a loss, it was fresh. So it is not dysfunctional. We are all striving toward a goal. Everyone is doing their part in the administration, coaches and players. There is no division between any departments."
Barrett has pin-pointed the facilities at the Sea Eagles chief training ground at Narrabeen as one of his main concerns.
But Tanginoa has no qualms there since his 2013-14 seasons at the Eels were also spent in temporary buildings.
"Every club is different but the Parra was the same as here – demountables and we just went from the field to the gym. It's similar here (Manly) to Parra," he said.
"The Cowboys were a bit different as they had the stadium right there and the gym – everything was together.
"You've got to walk to everything here, but that's like its own training session."
What the club currently provides is also alright with Taupau.
"They are OK at the moment. It is a developing stage at the moment with Manly," he said.
"We have a really good gym out here and it wasn't there when I first came here in 2016. We are getting a few things here and there. It is always developing."