Manly stars might miss out on Test - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly stars might miss out on Test

By Todd Balym and Steve Jancetic 28/04/2009 06:41:10 PM Comments (0)

Test prop Brent Kite expects Manly's poor start to the 2009 NRL season to be reflected in the Australian side to be named on Sunday.

The Sea Eagles had four players in last year's World Cup final team while prop Josh Perry was also a member of the extended squad.

But with just two wins from seven games Kite believes Manly's Test stars have more important things to worry about than whether they'll retain their green and gold jumpers for the May 8 clash with world champions New Zealand.

"To be honest I think it's not a big thing, given our start to the season we have bigger fish to fry than those personal achievements," said Kite.

"That is a secondary thing. Manly's form, my own form, they're inter-related but I can be playing better and as a team we can be doing a little bit better.

"Those things take care of themselves.

Coach Des Hasler said Manly's Test incumbents - Kite, winger David Williams and backrowers Glenn Stewart and Anthony Watmough - deserve strong consideration for their performances last year.

"The fact they're the incumbents their name is going to be tossed up but that's about as much I can shed on it," said Hasler when asked of the Test prospects of his players.

Even if Manly's four are overlooked for the Test side it is highly likely they'll be selected in the NSW City or Country teams also picked on Sunday and playing on May 8.

Manly had seven players named in NSW's 40-man squad last week - winger Michael Robertson and centre Jamie Lyon the two others in contention.

Hasler confirmed Lyon would definitely attend Wednesday's orientation meeting in Sydney despite the player's desire to be overlooked for all representative games this year.

Lyon remains one of the best right centre options for the Blues with young stars Michael Jennings and Chris Lawrence both left-side players.

St George Illawarra's Matt Cooper is NSW's other centre option and while he notes the strong presence of youth in the squad, he's intent on revenge after being part of the three series losses.

"We've lost three in a row and I've been a part of all three, I'm keen to get back out there and bring that shield back," said Cooper.

"It's very important, it's something that I love doing, I've been there for a few years now and I love playing for the Blues.

"With the exclusion of all those players last week from the 40-man squad, I think the Blues are sending a message to Queensland that they're going to pick a young, fresh side.

"It's pretty exciting to think about who they're going to put in there and the job they'll do because there's some great players for NSW going around at the moment, young players. It's going to be exciting."

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