Half-back Daly Cherry-Evans has a simple message to his new five-eighth partner – just be yourself.
The Sea Eagles captain will have a new scrum base partner in 2018, starting with Lachlan Croker for the team’s final trial match against the Sydney Roosters at Central Coast Stadium this Saturday night.
Coach Trent Barrett will name his strongest team for the match and has already indicated that Croker will partner Cherry-Evans, who enjoyed a superb season last year with Blake Green in the six jersey. Green has since joined the Warriors.
Many felt Green complimented Cherry-Evans’ game perfectly last season with his ability to earn 40/20s and forcing dropouts.
“We are going to have find someone to do that. It is as simple as that,’’ Cherry-Evans said.
“Everyone in rugby league is replaceable and whilst we will certainly miss ‘Greenie’, it gives someone else an opportunity.
“They are going to become their own person, their own player, and they will be picked accordingly by ‘Baz’ based on what’s best for the side.”
Cherry-Evans said he could understand why Green asked for a release from the final year of his contract in 2018 to take up a long-term deal at the Warriors.
“If you look at him as a rugby league player, what this game offers you is the opportunity to set yourself up and your family,’’ Cherry-Evans said.
“He got given that opportunity by the Warriors and Manly couldn’t do that. Good luck to him. I have gained a friendship out of it which is great.”
As for Croker, Cherry-Evans said he won’t have to change his playing style with Barrett implementing a plan to accommodate the new number six.
“Lachlan has been fantastic. There is no expectation on him to be anyone in particular, he just has to go out there and be Lachlan Croker,’’ Cherry-Evans said.
“What Trent has been able to do here with this side is implement structures in place where someone will come in, whether they are a different experience level or a different ability level, our game won’t change.
“That person comes in and does a job the best they possibly can. I have again been given that role to do my job the best I possibly can, but that is not going to vary too much from last year.”
Sea Eagles v Sydney Roosters trial
Saturday, February 24, Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Jersey Flegg 2.15pm
Intrust Super Premiership 4.15pm