Symonds' aspirations of cementing starting spot

Tom Symonds is no longer content with just making Manly’s 17 each week. He wants bigger minutes, bigger responsibility, and he’s doing everything in his power to ensure his objective is met.

Since making the move across the bridge and onto the Northern Beaches, the versatile back-rower has been a mainstay in Geoff Toovey’s side.

However selection off the interchange bench just doesn’t cut it anymore. Symonds has made 39 appearances for the club since moving from the Roosters, 24 of which have been off the bench.

But Symonds has revealed he has a desire to cement his position in Manly’s starting side next season.

“That’s definitely my goal, to be starting every week.” Symonds said. “I’m obviously still going to be happy being in the 17 every week, but my goal is to be a starting player. That’s what I’ve been working on this whole preseason.”

The Sea Eagles are currently on their Christmas break and won’t return to training until early January after a gruelling six weeks slogging it out on the training paddock.

“It’s always pretty tough at this time of year but we’re getting through it. Each day is different. We’re rocking up some days a bit sore and some days a bit fresher, but like I said we’re getting through it,” Symonds said.

“I think [training] has stepped up a notch. The intensity is there every single day. There is no down days so to speak, so Monday to Friday we’re really ripping in and getting through three to four sessions every day. It’s tough work.”

On their return the Sea Eagles will hit the ground running as they begin preparation for the Auckland Nines and two trial fixtures.

With the Nines kicking off next month, Symonds has put his hand up for the weekend-long tournament, which begins on January 31.

“I think it’s a pretty cool concept. The boys over there had a good time, even though we didn’t do so well. If I got the chance to go over again I’d be happy with it,” Symonds said.

“They ‘ve introduced a few rule changes, which is going to make the game even faster than last year. I know it was a bit of a shock to try and adjust to only nine on the field.

“I think it’s fun. I’d definitely like to be a part of it.”