NRL: Sea Eagles cut ties with 17 players

The Manly Sea Eagles have been very quick to cut players from their roster following a dismal 2016 NRL season. Photo / Photosport
The Manly Sea Eagles have been very quick to cut players from their roster following a dismal 2016 NRL season. Photo / Photosport

Manly has announced a dramatic roster clean out with 17 players not returning to the club in 2017.

The Sea Eagles confirmed their roster changes for 2017 on Monday morning after a disappointing season, despite what was considered an impressive pre-season recruitment drive.

With Manly players embarking on the perils of Mad Monday shenanigans, the club announced 12 players hoping to continue their careers in the NRL will not be offered a new contract for next season.

Manly also released prop Luke Burgess and star second-rower Feleti Mateo earlier this year to take up positions in the English Super League.

Former captain Jamie Lyon headlines the list of players not returning next season, while Josh Starling, Siosaia Vave, Liam Knight, Nathan Green, Blake Leary, Isaac John and Jayden Hodges have all been told they are not wanted at the club in 2017.

Here is the full list of players moving on:

Jamie Lyon - retired
Josh Starling - off contract
Siosaia Vave - Parramatta Eels
Liam Knight - released
Nathan Green - off contract
Blake Leary - off contract
Isaac John - off contract
Jayden Hodges - off contract
Tim Moltzen - retired
Rhys Armstrong - off contract
Fabian Goodall - rugby union
Halaufa Lavaka - off contract
Tony Satini - off contract
Dylan Kelly - off contract
Hugh Pratt - off contract
Nicho Hynes - off contract
Darcy Cox - off contract

Rookie Manly coach Trent Barrett has blamed a wretched run of injuries as the reason why the Sea Eagles have missed the NRL finals for the second straight season.

Manly were put out of their misery on Sunday after being thumped 36-6 by Penrith in the final game of the regular season at the foot of the mountains.

They finished seven points out of the finals race in 12th spot - a major disappointment for a club widely tipped to be top-eight contenders with a revamped roster.

However, Barrett couldn't even bring himself to take solace in a six-all second half against a white-hot Panthers outfit at Pepper Stadium.

"You can't take too much out of anything in the game to be honest. We'll have a rest now. We've got a lot of work to do next year," Barrett said.

The Sea Eagles appeared ready to fight for finals honours after clawing their way to eighth spot with a 4-4 record after round eight, including a shock win over Cronulla in round three.

However a four-game winning streak in July was sandwiched by seven-game and five-game losing streaks that put to bed any fairytale finals shot for the first-year coach.

Barrett said he wasn't helped by an injury toll that limited key men Daly Cherry-Evans, Jamie Lyon, Brett Stewart, Steve Matai, Dylan Walker, Jamie Buhrer, and Matt Parcell at various points in the year.

"It sounds like an excuse, but that's the reality of it. It's affected us big time," he said.

He insists his squad can make up the four games required to make the finals next season.

"Hopefully the injury gods smile on us a little bit," he said. "I'll never question the boys' effort. They're trying. It could've been an horrific scoreline if we weren't having a crack. I'll never doubt that. We're just down on troops and experience."

Priority number one in the off-season will be sorting out the futures of injured veterans Brett Stewart (knee) and Steve Matai (neck), both of whom are being backed to recover for next year.

Melbourne playmaker Blake Green is believed to have agreed to sign on.

At least four players, including Dylan Walker, Daly Cherry-Evans and brothers Tom and Jake Trbojevic, will have off-season surgery to address niggling injuries.


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