In a series analysing who will line up in each position for all 16 teams in the opening round of the Telstra Premiership in 2021, NRL.com looks at the Manly Sea Eagles.
NRL.com says: Very much a team in flux, there are questions as to where the returning Kieran Foran fits in alongside existing playmakers Cade Cust, Lachie Croker, Josh Schuster and Dylan Walker.
The loss of Tom Trbojevic for the first three weeks with a hamstring strain is a major blow.
Manase Fainu remains stood down so Cust, Foran or Croker will probably be needed to play in the No.9 jersey. With young gun Schuster all but demanding a starting spot in the halves, Foran could be the one to fill the breach with one of the other two to play a bench utility role.
That means Walker likely displaces Morgan Harper at centre despite the latter's impressive efforts after joining mid-season in 2020. Former Eel Andrew Davey will be pushing Jack Gosiewski for Joel Thompson's vacant edge forward spot.
Former Tiger Josh Aloiai likely slots into the front-row position vacated by Addin Fonua-Blake.
Jamie Soward says: I would have Dylan Walker in the centres, that's fire and ice there with Suli and some good strike power either side.
Foran's put everything into getting his body right but if you bank everything in pre-season on him being fit, it's a massive gamble.
With Schuster at pivot and Walker in the centres and a few playmakers who can fill in at dummy-half, there's a security blanket there that he knows how to play five-eighth so we're not putting all our eggs in the Kieran Foran basket.
Their squad is slowly starting to get some depth which is important. They're going to miss Joel Thompson. Davey is a toiler but in terms of emotion, spirit, discipline and doing your job, their biggest loss will be Thompson.
Sea Eagles in 2021
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