From Coach Trent Barrett to captain Daly Cherry-Evans, there is plenty of confidence within the team about exciting young hooker Manase Fainu.
The 19-year-old will make his NRL debut against Penrith Panthers at Panthers Stadium tomorrow after the Club was able to finalise his contract upgrade with the NRL to become part of the top 30 contingent. He was originally listed to make his NRL debut against St George-Illawarra in round 15.
Fainu played 28 matches for Manly in the Holden Cup in 2017 and went on to win the Club's Best and Fairest award for that grade.
Barrett said there was plenty to like about Fainu.
"He is a really good young player. He is a Junior Kiwi and he is excited about playing up there at Penrith tomorrow,'' Barrett said.
"Manase is a really strong carrier of the ball and a good defender. He has done everything right to put himself in a position to play
We see Manase as a long term first grader here.Trent Barrett
He can also play half-back and has got a good kicking game too."
Cherry-Evans has been impressed with the physicality of Fainu.
"He is an extremely powerful athlete for such a young kid,'' Cherry-Evans said.
"Manase has tested our forwards really well in regards to how strong his ball carry is. He is quite sharp out of hooker and has shown some great skills.
"He has a great mentor in Api Koroisau. Manase is the sort of person who is willing to learn and is not afraid to ask questions which is very important in young kids coming through."
Manly prop Addin Fonua-Blake is another player impressed with Fainu, saying he hits hard in defence.
"For his size, he is just like Api. That is exactly what we need, the smaller blokes giving it their all,'' Fonua-Blake said.
"It means that if it comes down to the crunch, he is not going to shy away from the contact and put his body on the line for the team."