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Manly urge fans to not jeer seven boycott players, Taupau, Verrills, Gildart on the move?




Manly chairman Scott Penn is urging fans not to show any disrespect to the seven players who boycotted Thursday’s game on their return against the Eels at Brookvale.

Josh Aloiai, Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakau’atu, Tolutau Koula and Toafofoa Sipley, who sat out the match due to religious and cultural reasons over the club’s decision to wear an inclusivity jersey promoting the LGBTQIA+ community, are all set to play in Friday’s critical clash with Parramatta.

The Manly chairman and owner will be around the football club this week, while new chief executive Tony Mestrov has now started and will meet with all players. 

“The thing is they should go easy on them,” Penn told AAP, while adding he was not too concerned about a potential backlash.

“A week is a long time in football. We just have to get a win, it’s as simple as that.”

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 04: Jason Saab of the Sea Eagles celebrates scoring a try with team mates during the round 13 NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the New Zealand Warriors at 4 Pines Park, on June 04, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Jason Saab celebrates a try with teammates. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Penn has also shot down suggestions that if Manly miss the finals, coach Des Hasler’s future would be in jeopardy because he has a clause in his contract which triggers an automatic extension for 2024 if they make the playoffs.

“The reality is he will be there for as long as he wants to be and the team is performing,” Penn said.

“Technically, there is just an automatic extension based on performance for the year after that. 

“But he is on contract full stop, is the bottom line. It’s just the club has rights if the performance isn’t there.

“He is absolutely there next year. We will deal (with the years after that) in the off-season. It’s not an issue.”

Hasler will face one of his greatest tests this week in trying to unite Manly’s squad after the seven players refused to play in the inclusion jersey.

Friday’s match against Parramatta looms as a must-win, given Manly are a game behind ninth-placed Canberra, who have an easier run home.

The Sea Eagles are auctioning off the jerseys worn on Thursday against the Roosters for the Gotcha4Life charity and rookie forward Zac Fulton is leading the way with a top bid of more than $2500 for his debut jersey.

Fulton has attracted nearly more than double than the next highest, Daly Cherry-Evans, and is also beating a jersey signed by the entire team which took the field against the Roosters.

Martin Taupau of the Sea Eagles looks on

Martin Taupau (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Taupau, Gildart, Verrills on the move? 

Parramatta are still holding out hope of negotiating a deal with Manly to take Martin Taupau off their books for the rest of the season.

The Eels are set to offer the veteran free agent a contract for next year while the Sea Eagles are reluctant to re-sign him beyond the end of this season.

There is speculation the Roosters could pick up Wests Tigers centre Oliver Gildart on a short-term loan deal to help with their depth in the outside backs.

The deadline for any transfers this season is 5pm.

Roosters hooker Sam Verrills could be heading to the Gold Coast next year following the club’s signing of Brandon Smith.

The Titans are desperate for a creative hooker to bolster their spine after using Erin Clark and Aaron Booth at dummy-half with limited success this season.

Manly veteran Kieran Foran is heading to the Titans in 2023 so coach Justin Holbrook will have a lot more experience in his spine if he survives the club’s dreaded end-of-season review.

Melbourne acquired winger David Nofoaluma from the Wests Tigers last week and he is set to line up for their AAMI Park tussle with the Titans on Friday.





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