NRL: Toovey upset at talk of player unrest

Manly coach Geoff Toovey and captain Jamie Lyon speak to the media after their side's win over the Dragons. Photo / Getty Images
Manly coach Geoff Toovey and captain Jamie Lyon speak to the media after their side's win over the Dragons. Photo / Getty Images

Manly coach Geoff Toovey has hit out at reports of a disunited club, amid speculation three of the Sea Eagles' biggest stars want out of Brookvale.

Steve Matai has publicly admitted he wants out of the NRL premiership leaders, with Anthony Watmough and Brett Stewart also reportedly keen to leave.

The trio are all understood to be upset at the club's refusal to offer Glenn Stewart a contract for next season and beyond, with club officials claiming salary cap pressures prevented them from doing so.

Glenn Stewart has since signed with South Sydney, while Manly have re-signed Jamie Buhrer and Jesse Sene-Lefao.

"I don't talk about individual contracts, as far as I know, they'll be here next year. I can't confirm or deny (they want a release)," Toovey said.

"Everyone keeps trying to bring this club down. We will continue on. This year is going extremely well for us.

"They are playing exceptionally well. That's what they do best, is play football.

"We have a quality and very successful team. I can understand why people want part of it."

Matai has already spoken of his desire to leave last year's grand finalists.

He has been linked to a big money move to the Warriors.

After Manly's 21-12 win over St George Illawarra on Monday, a victory that sent the Sea Eagles to the outright lead of the NRL competition seven rounds out from the playoffs, Watmough didn't deny he had asked the club for a release when asked.

"Those rumours have been floating around for a few weeks, we're just worrying about playing footy," he told Triple M.

Manly skipper Jamie Lyon says the Sea Eagles are a happy club.

"The mood in the playing group is fine," he said.

"We are all still very close and playing for one another.

"It's no distraction."

- AAP

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