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Hasler: Fonua-Blake back to repair damage of referee slur

Manly coach Des Hasler says Addin Fonua-Blake will repay his teammates and continue to repair the damage of his referee abuse as he returns from suspension.

Fonua-Blake is back on deck to bolster the Sea Eagles pack against the Cowboys on Friday night following a two-game ban for calling referee Grant Atkins a "f---ing r-----d" last month.

A week ago Hasler was expecting the burly prop to miss the Townsville trip due to his refusal to get a flu vaccination, but the Queensland government has since granted him an exemption to enter the state and take on the Cowboys.

As well as donating $20,000 to wheelchair rugby league with plans for Fonua-Blake to referee a match in the sport, Manly have asked for him to attend a NSW anti-discrimination board meeting.

Hasler said he has not addressed Fonua-Blake's on-field discipline with his front-rower, believing his remorse and fall-out from the incident ensure lessons have been learnt.

Cowboys v Sea Eagles - Round 11

"I think he understands that well and truly," Hasler said when asked about the impact of Fonua-Blake's slur.

"As much as he is emotional, he understands and has made great amends.

"He's trained really hard and been really diligent in what he's going about.

"He's really resourceful and been a great support, particularly working with junior players."

Fonua-Blake's inclusion is a significant one for Manly and could be followed by star five-eighth Dylan Walker returning next week pending his continued recovery from an ankle injury.

Hasler quashes Tom Trbojevic setback reports

Tom Trbojevic is expected to be back from his latest hamstring issue by round 17 at the latest.'s Players' Poll recently crowned Founa-Blake as the game's top prop, with he and Marty Taupau forming one of the best front-row pairings in the competition.

His return against the Cowboys pits Fonua-Blake against Tongan teammate Jason Taumalolo with Manly pushing for a rise back into the top eight as the NRL rounds the halfway mark of a rescheduled season.

"He's been playing great footy and just the growth and maturity in his game has been enormous," Hasler said.

"He's up their with the best of them for sure. The influence and confidence that it gives players around them.

"The opportunities and what he creates, it gives players in the side around them opportunities to capitalise on.

"Against a forward pack with Taumalolo, [Coen] Hess and a couple of other young players - and their No. 9 [Reece Robson] is playing very well - so we're going to need every resource that we have."

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