Tom Trbojevic has made it clear – Brett Stewart is Manly’s number 1.
Speaking after Manly’s 36-6 win over St George-Illawarra, the rising full-back dismissed calls for him to take over at full-back after Stewart was ruled out with a knee injury.
Trbojevic shifted from centre to full-back and his impressive skills again shone through in a performance that will see him wear the number 1 jersey for years to come once Stewart’s career ends.
And that’s the way the Manly junior wants it as a mark of great respect to Stewart.
“(Snake)’ is our number 1. He has been Manly’s number 1 for 10 years, and he has been one of the best players ever to play in the Manly number 1 jersey,’’ Trbojevic said.
“I am certainly not pushing for his spot. We are at our best when ‘Snake’’ plays number one. He will definitely stay there.”
Trbojevic said it was an honour for him to just learn from Stewart.
“You watch ‘Snake’ and just the way he holds himself on the field. He is just always there, and always in support,’’ he added.
“The little things he does off the ball. They are second to none, and helps the side so much.
“That’s the one big thing I try to take from his game – his support. It is great to have him at the club and to just try and learn as much as I can from him.”
Manly Coach Trent Barrett says Stewart remains the man for the '1’ jersey.
"Brett, probably by his own admission has been struggling with a bit of injury. I would have played him tonight had he been fully fit,’’ Barrett said.
“He is a legend of this club and I think when Snake's 100 per cent he can do things on a football field that no one else can. He deserves for us to show him the respect that he's earned.
“I hope Snake can overcome it – he's got a niggling knee injury at the moment and I hope he gets through it but when he's not there we've got Tom and Tom's a terrific player of the future and can play many positions.
“I'll cross that bridge when it comes. Brett Stewart's a terrific player and if he's fully fit he'll be in the side."
The Sea Eagles will be hoping Stewart is available for their crucual home match against the NZ Warriors at nib Stadium, Perth, on Saturday, July 16.
Tickets for Manly v Warriors in Perth: http://bit.ly/1Q6IIOV