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Plenty of young talent and experience in trial squad

A quality mix of some bright fresh youngsters combined with some of the game’s biggest names will run out for the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in Friday night’s NRL trial.

The Sea Eagles will tackle the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval at 8pm in the team’s first hit out of 2022. The match will be played over 2 x 40 minutes halves with unlimited interchanges and there will be no extra-time or Golden Point.

Coach Des Hasler has named two sides for the trial, with the first half side featuring several established first graders including Captain Daly Cherry-Evans and Dally M Medal winner Tom Trbojevic.

The second half side comprises of some NRL players, Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles NSW Cup players, and Manly Junior Rep players.

Hard running forward Ethan Bullemor will get his first run in a maroon and white jersey in the second row after joining the club from the Brisbane Broncos.

Tolu Koula heads the list of exciting youngsters named in the squad, including  Jamie Humphreys, Kaeo Weekes, Gordon Chan Kum Tong, and Jacob Sykes.

Lightning quick...Tolu Koula
Lightning quick...Tolu Koula ©Manly Media

Chan Kum Tong, Humphreys and Sykes are Sea Eagles Development players this season after performing strongly in the SG Ball and Jersey Flegg teams last year.

Sea Eagles NRL Assistant and Pathways Coach Steven Hales provides a lowdown on some of the young players in action.

Ray Vaega: Came to Manly from New Zealand in 2021 and played Jersey Flegg. A strongly built winger who is a very powerful carrier of the ball. Scored six tries in 11 games in the Jersey Flegg.

James Roumanos: Highly touted junior who was selected in the Australian schoolboys team that contained David Fifita. A Cronulla junior who was part of Canterbury Bulldogs NRL squad last year, James is an intelligent middle forward with a high work rate. 

Eiden Ackland: Son of former New Zealand player and coach John Ackland, Eiden is a half who likes to take the line on and has an astute kicking game. 

Jacob Sykes: Another product of the Sea Eagles Pathways Academy, Jacob’s competitive style has team-mates loving playing next to him. A country boy, Jacob won Manly’s Jersey Flegg Best and Fairest award in 2019. He played eight games in the Jersey Flegg Cup last year.

Jacob Sykes (left) and Ethan Bullemor
Jacob Sykes (left) and Ethan Bullemor ©Manly Media

Fletcher Myers: Came to Manly this year from the Newcastle Knights. Still eligible for SG Ball, the  centre/winger is a very athletic player with speed to burn.

Alfred Smalley: A NZ product who was part of Manly’s 2017 Holden Cup winning team, Alfred is a centre/winger who is a prolific try scorer and can make plenty of metres with his strong runs.

Missed an article on our youngsters? See more below.

Viliami Fifita

Gordon Chan Kum Tong

Jamie Humphreys

Tolu Koula

Kaeo Weekes



Acknowledgement of Country

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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