Manly’s Holden Cup Coach Wayne Lambkin says five-eighth Tom Wright has benefited greatly from being more involved with his U20s team-mates following the completion of his NRL training commitments.
Wright was at his scintillating best in the 44-22 Holden Cup win over minor premiers Cronulla Sharks last Saturday, scoring a hat-trick.
His second try was the pick of the three, with Wright displaying fancy footwork, agility, and speed to score.
“Tom has been training with me for the past month and has been around the team at every session,’’ Lambkin said.
“He has had to go through the hard work and the consistency of what those other boys have gone through all year. I think he appreciates the hard work these boys have been doing to get to where they are now.
“You can see it has helped him as well. We have continued to work hard all year with our conditioning, our defensive structures, our contact, and our wrestle.
“We haven’t budged from that one bit the last four weeks. Tom has been part of that and he has fitted in nicely again.”
Wright has enjoyed a fine season for the Sea Eagles in the Holden Cup after the former Australian rugby schoolboys player experienced a tough first season in 2016 through injuries.
He has scored 18 tries in 25 games, has 11 try assists to his name, and has developed his game even further by being a member of the NRL squad.
The talented five-eighth will be closely watched by St George-Illawarra who will start favourites in Saturday’s Holden Cup Preliminary Final at Allianz Stadium.
The Dragons head into the game fresh after having last weekend off following their week one 18-14 victory over the second-placed Penrith.
The Sea Eagles knocked out the fifth-placed Nth Qld Cowboys in week one before crushing premiership favourites Cronulla last Saturday to set up the grand final qualifier against the Dragons.
Holden Cup Preliminary Final
Manly Sea Eagles v St George-Illawarra Dragons
Saturday September 16, 2.30pm, Allianz Stadium