Landing In the Eagles Nest

With pre-season training underway, Nicolson Sports Consultancy looks at the new faces at the various NRL clubs for Season 2004. Today it is the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.

Additions of note:

Mark Lennon ? half/five-eighth moves home after a stint with Castleford in the UK, played against Australia for Wales on Roo tour and would not have moved back across the world to play reserve grade.

Kane Cleal ? son of legendary Eel and Sea Eagle Noel ?Crusher? Cleal, Kane is a big prop but still very raw.

Kylie Leuluai ? outstanding at the Premier League level for the Eels last year but failed to make the same impact in the NRL, will provide another big body for the Manly pack to draw upon.

Ian Donnelly ? signed to a healthy deal by Manly to partner Jason King up front, however there seems to be a lot of competition so he is far from a walk up start.

Shayne Dunley ? returns to his old club for the third time, nippy halfback early in his career now plies his trade as a nippy hooker offering spark from the bench.

Michael Monaghan ? Canberra fans are not happy this kid left the club, creative playmaker with a decent kicking game, still he must prove he is up to the responsibility of being the main man in the top flight with Ben Walker and Jason Ferris departed.

Dallas Rennie ? controversy surrounded his move to the Northern Beaches, but the huge Kiwi is touted as a serious front row talent having made the Warriors full time squad last year.

Jye Mullane ? didn?t make the five-eighth spot his own at Cronulla after a lengthy audition but will challenge for role in the Top squad.

Jeff Robson ? another former Eel looking for a chance at the big time, Robson took over as the Premier League halfback when Michael Witt was elevated to first grade.

Daniel Heckenberg ? could prove to be Manly?s best forward buy for 2004, really matured into a hard-working prop as Parramatta?s engine room was decimated with injuries, looks likely to partner King up front.

Chris Hicks ? Former Panthers flanker, who disappeared off the NRL map last year with the emergence of Lewis and Rooney, will be looking to crack the starting lineup and has the added bonus of goalkicking experience to enhance his chances.

Nathan Hollingsworth ? yet another Eel looking for opportunity elsewhere, the former Canberra junior has not developed into a consistent first grader but with Manly?s serious lack of depth last season he should contend for playing time at Brookvale most likely in Premier League.

Andrew Walker ? the prize recruit for the Sea Eagles after Walker wore out his welcome with the Wallabies, still a precocious talent with much to offer the NRL, will likely play fullback but rove between half, five-eighth and fullback in attack, also is an accomplished goalkicker.

Want more on your favourite team? Nicolson Sports Consultancy is currently putting together a comprehensive NRL 2003 Review. Look for it to be available in the New Year.

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