Josh Schuster hails from All Blacks stock but the player responsible for some of the few bright moments amid the doom and gloom at Manly this season is committed to rugby league.
Schuster has recommitted to the Sea Eagles until the end of 2024 on a three-year deal as he makes a strong start to life in the back row despite the Sea Eagles horror 0-3 start.
His re-signing locks in Manly's long-term five-eighth option despite suggestions Kieran Foran's signing for 2021 had prompted Schuster to consider his options over summer.
NRL.com understands Schuster was reassured about his standing at the club when Foran's homecoming was confirmed late last year.
The nephew of former New Zealand rugby international and Knights fan favourite John Schuster is well and truly all in at Manly, moving from Liverpool to Brookvale recently.
As a four-year old, Schuster bucked the family trend and his grandfather's insistence he play the 15-player game, committing to rugby league as a schoolboy for good.
Schuster: Playing back row not new to me
"My future's here with Manly, we've just got to get the paperwork finalised," Schuster said leading into Thursday's clash with Penrith.
"I was never going to leave this club. I started here when I was 14 years old and it's just the culture here, I love it here. It's a big family here and I can't see myself anywhere else.
"My family would always tell me why did I pick league? But I've been playing league since four years old.
"I think rugby's a bit boring. I actually have never played it. I love watching it but I love league."
18th man given go ahead
Schuster's maiden NRL game against Wests Tigers last season was described by opposing No.6 Benji Marshall as "the best debut I've seen from a young kid in my time, ever".
The 19-year-old is still yet to sing the Sea Eagles team song after three first-grade outings.
He was among Manly's best against the Dragons last week, finishing with a try-assist, two line breaks, 133 running metres and 31 tackles without a miss.
At 105kg and 186cm, he has made an easy transition to the back row having alternated between the halves and forwards throughout his junior days.
The Sea Eagles' horror defensive numbers – their 110 points conceded is the worst start to a season since Canberra in 2006 – is harder to cop, but one Schuster is taking in his sizeable stride.
"It's a big change moving to back row in first grade," Schuster said.
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"But I've been playing back row since juniors in this club, it's not that much of a big change for me.
"Losing games is very tough. But for me being so young, I'm very grateful to get the opportunity to play NRL.
"I don't like losing but getting the opportunity to play NRL and living out my dream, I'm very grateful for that."