Former premiership winning Manly prop Jason King was a special guest at Sea Eagles training today at Narrabeen.
King, who played 219 first grade games for Manly from 2003-14, was invited by Coach Des Hasler to present prop Martin Taupau with his 150th game jersey ahead of tomorrow night’s clash against the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park.
Taupau has played 83 games for Manly since joining the Sea Eagles in 2016. He previously played 45 matches for Wests Tigers and 21 games for Canterbury.
The presentation to Taupau from King was fitting considering King played in the record breaking 40-0 grand final win over the Storm in 2008 under Hasler. He was also part of the Manly team that won the 2009 World Club Challenge over Leeds.
King now works for the NRL as General Manager of Elite Competitions.
The former Sea Eagles co-captain recalled playing a younger Taupau in the later stages of his fine career.
“Marty was always very difficult to contain as a player,’’ King said.
“When we used to prepare for matches against Canterbury or the Wests Tigers, we would often single Marty out as not only a very good player who could have a big impact individually, but also a player who provides a lot of confidence and empowers his team-mates around him.
“The Manly forward pack had to take it upon themselves to try and nullify his impact. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.”
King said he was very pleased to see the great contribution Taupau has made now at the Sea Eagles since joining the Club.
“Marty is the leader. He and (prop) Addin Fonua-Blake have really taken their games to another level in recent seasons,’’ King said.
“Along with Jake Trbojevic, they provide a really good platform for Daly Cherry-Evans and Tom Trbojevic to create their magic.
“Martin and Addin have been crucial to the success the Sea Eagles have enjoyed this year.
“As a Sea Eagles Life Member, it is great to see the team doing very well. I may be working at the NRL now but I will always be a Sea Eagles supporter.”