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Taupau felt like 'zoo animal' in previous contract discussions

Forgotten in Manly's rush to re-sign the Trboejvic brothers is the fact dual international Martin Taupau is also off contract at the end of next season.

The former Kiwis and currently Samoa prop can receive offers from other clubs from November 1.

While not a high priority on the 29-year-old's to-do-list with the finals around the corner, Taupau doesn't want a media circus around his contract situation like last year.

The rumour mill went into overdrive that firstly Taupau wanted out, then it was the Sea Eagles shopping him around while Trent Barrett was head coach.

Taupau addressed the rumours several times last year saying no-one had approached him from either inside or outside of Manly. He said he wanted to stay on the northern beaches and he hasn't changed his tune in 12 months.

"A hundred per cent. It’s the same thing with what happened last year when I was showcased around like a zoo animal, when I wasn't going anywhere," Taupau said.

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"There is a huge desire to stay here at Manly," he added when quizzed by reporters about his current deal expiring in 2020 – the same year as Jake and Tom Trbojevic.

"I’m not really thinking anything about it ... you just brought it up then so I can’t really form an opinion in five seconds.

"I’ll just do my footy and enjoy life.

"The zoo animal is me … let’s clarify that ... and the patrons were on social media," he said, recalling the unpleasant experience of having no control at being paraded about the rugby league world as a player on the outer with his club.

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But he has a new lease on football life under new head coach Des Hasler. The club is returning to the finals after losing the 2017 qualifier to Penrith.

And while that is indeed a bonus, so would having his contract extended before November 1. 

"Ideally in a perfect world … but I don’t know," he said.

"You just brought it up. I haven’t thought about it because I’m not going anywhere.

"It’s still a couple of months away and I’m not going anywhere. I know you’ll quote me on that."

Taupau is one of 11 Sea Eagles off contract next year – the Trbojevics being the other stand-out names on the list along with Moses Suli, Corey Waddell and Brendan Elliot.

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