Manly Warringah Sea Eagles have today confirmed that an agreement has been reached to move its scheduled NRL trial match against Cronulla Sharks next weekend from Lottoland to Cronulla’s home ground.
Originally, three games (Jersey Flegg, ISP and NRL) were set down to be played at Lottoland on Saturday 23 February against the Sharks. These games were agreed between Cronulla and Manly at a time when neither Club was aware that a Super 15 Rugby match would be played at Lottoland the weekend before.
While Council confirmed they felt they were on track to provide a safe and satisfactory playing surface for the match on the 23rd , following an inspection of the ground on Friday morning by both Clubs, and being cognisant of the wear and tear a Super 15 game has on a playing surface, the decision was made to remove any unnecessary risk of player injury and move the match to Cronulla.
Due to the logistics and organisation required to host a pre-season trial match, this decision needed to be made prior to the weekend rather than wait until Monday to see how the surface came up after the rugby match.
Manly CEO Lyall Gorman stressed the decision made was no reflection at all on our Club’s relationship with Northern Beaches Council, or our Club’s ongoing commitment to play our NRL games at Lottoland.
“We have an incredibly strong working relationship with Northern Beaches Council and on the back of last week’s funding announcement by the State Government for the stage one Centre of Excellence enhancement of Lottoland, we remain extremely excited by, and committed to, our future at Brookvale and our long term partnership with Council,’’ Gorman said.
“Whilst we understand Sea Eagles Members and supporters were looking forward to hosting a pre-season trial at Lottoland, it was felt that from a player welfare and risk management point of view, the wiser decision was to move the game.
“The Sharks have indicated they are fully committed to ensuring that Sea Eagles Members, supporters and corporate partners are well looked after at Southern Cross Group Stadium and will announce details of a gold coin donation entry charge and confirm match day timings on Monday.
“Our Club and Council's focus is to have the field in optimal condition in preparation for the commencement of the NRL season and our first home match against the Sydney Roosters on Saturday 23 March.
"Moving this game and ensuring that no other fixtures are played at Lottoland before our first home game, other than the already scheduled Sydney FC A-League match, will greatly assist this process.”