Sea Eagles snare Lyon, Watmough for life - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sea Eagles snare Lyon, Watmough for life

By David Beniuk 04/03/2010 08:54:44 PM Comments (0)

Manly have struck a double blow by re-signing stars Jamie Lyon and Anthony Watmough, virtually until the end of their careers.

Co-captain Lyon will be nearly 32 when his NRL contract extension concludes at the end of 2013, while Watmough, 27 this year, has signed a four-year deal taking him through until the end of 2014.

The twin signings take two of the biggest names in the NRL off the market with both players' current deals ending at the end of this season.

The Sea Eagles also avoid the possible distraction of player negotiations during the 2010 season, which kicks off for the club against the Wests Tigers on March 15.

NSW State of Origin centre Lyon, who infamously walked from former club Parramatta in 2004, put aside any thought of returning to the English Super League where he played with St Helens.

His re-signing takes much of the immediate pressure off Manly's recruitment with the club needing his experience in the halves following the departure of halfback Matt Orford to English Super League club Bradford.

"My family and I love it here," Lyon told the club's website.

"I'm looking forward to winning at least one or two more premierships at Manly."

The Sea Eagles said Watmough had turned down bigger offers to sign elsewhere.

"I don't want to play against Manly," he said.

"My mates are here, my children were born in the area and we have a team capable of winning again.

"Watching Steve Menzies knock back offers to go elsewhere in the NRL made an impression on me and I want to go down the same path.

"Playing before family and friends means a lot and I enjoy playing the style of football that Manly play."

The Sea Eagles will now turn their attention to re-signing former Kangaroos forward Glenn Stewart, who the club said was "also close to signing a new deal".

Coach Des Hasler said securing Lyon, who was named co-captain for 2010 with prop Jason King, and Watmough was a massive boost for the 2008 premiers.

"They are internationals at the peak of their careers and it is essential that we retain these type of players so we can continue to attract other players to come into our system," Hasler said.

"Their experience is invaluable too for the young players we have coming through."

Manly chief executive Graham Lowe added: "They are two of our most popular players and it is encouraging that they didn't want to go anywhere else.

"In my short time here I have been really impressed with the attitude of both players.

"One is our co captain and one is showing signs of being a future leader.

"Both are among the best players in the world in their respective positions and will ensure Manly remain at or near the top for years to come."

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