Manly Sea Eagles’ huge player bid causes obstacle for Hull FC’s pursuit of new signing

MANLY Sea Eagles have potentially caused a major obstacle for Hull FC’s pursuit of their last quota spot recruit.

That’s because the Sea Eagles are set to offer Reuben Garrick a four-year bumper deal in a bid to ward off any potential bid from the Newcastle Knights.

The Daily Telegraph has reported that Manly have moved quickly after Newcastle tried to get Garrick released from the final year of his contract in 2023 to play fullback, so that Kalyn Ponga could make a switch to the halves.

However, the Sea Eagles chief executive Tony Mestrov has rejected any such advance, stating: “The club sees Reuben as a real leader,” Mestrov told the paper.

“We have a very good group of players that can vie for the top four year on year and we want him to be a leader in this group moving forward.

“He is a quality human being and a professional. From a cultural point he is also a very important player.”

Despite Tom Trbojevic’s prominence at fullback, the Manly club have reportedly offered Garrick the chance to play at centre in a bid to get his hands on the ball more.

“He wants to play fullback and obviously with Tom at Manly he can’t do that.

“However our offer is with the intention of playing Garrick at centre. He will play in the centres. He played all his junior representative football at centre.”

With Garrick looking destined to stay at the Sea Eagles, however, it means that Ponga will still be Newcastle’s first-choice number one for 2023 with Jake Clifford – who has been linked heavily with a move to Hull FC – perhaps still needed at Hunter.

Of course, the Knights also have new signing Tyson Gamble as well as Adam Clune and Phoenix Crossland, but they have still been linked with a move for Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks.