Manly's strong relationship with New Zealand's South Island has led to two promising young rugby league players getting a taste of NRL life this week.
Jaedon Wellington and Callum Donaldson were invited by the Sea Eagles to travel from the South Island as part of Manly's strong commitment to the local rugby league community there.
Manly played a home game to Christchurch this year and will return to the South Island in 2019 for a second home match again against the New Zealand Warriors on March 30.
Wellington, a prop, captained the Under 15 South Island team at the national championships last month and was named in the NZ Merit team.
Donaldson was also part of the same Under 15 South Island team with the second-rower unlucky to miss out on the NZ Merit team.
In between watching the Manly NRL squad train, the youngsters have participated in gym and field sessions with the Sea Eagles' Harold Matthews (U16) train-on squad.
Both boys will get the chance to show their skills in a Harold Matthews trial match against the Canterbury Bulldogs at the Terry Lamb Complex on Friday night.
Walco Promoter Justin Wallace said the visit by Wellington and Donaldson is one of the many tangible benefits the Canterbury sports community is getting from the relationship with the Sea Eagles.
"Manly's commitment to Christchurch brings NRL stars to our schools and clubs and creates a pathway for young talents to become a part of one of the most iconic clubs in Australia,'' Wallace said.
Sea Eagles CEO Lyall Gorman said the relationship with the Canterbury region of New Zealand is one that the Club values greatly, on and off the field.
To be able to provide emerging elite talent with the opportunity to experience life in a professional club and hopefully inspire them to pursue their dreams is just one part of that relationship, but a very important partLyall Gorman Sea Eagles CEO
"We look forward to building on our partnership with Christchurch in the years to come and to be able to provide a pathway for their young stars to aspire to be a part of.
"The boys have had a wonderful time here and have been great ambassadors for their home country.
"We wish them well in their future endeavours and look forward to providing similar experiences for many more such players in the years to come."