Manly look to rookie flair for 2011 spark - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly look to rookie flair for 2011 spark

Joe Barton 12/01/2011 07:15:41 PM Comments (0)

Manly will look to the youngest halves pairing in the NRL to deliver some excitement and flair in the upcoming NRL season.

Two seasons after leading Manly's Toyota Cup team to the minor premiership, Kieran Foran and Daly Cherry-Evans will become the elite competition's least experienced duo.

Not that either player is too concerned.

They're more interested in providing the spark for Manly's attack and helping the 2008 premiers get back on track after two straight years of first week finals exits.

"Hopefully a bit of flair and excitement," Foran grinned when asked what the pair will offer Manly this year.

"Daly's that kind of player where he'll chance his arm, he'll look after that structural stuff and just allow me to kind of play my game a little bit wider.

"This is just really exciting I think."

Only Canterbury's halves pairing of 22-year-olds Kris Keating and Trent Hodkinson compares to the youth Manly will put on display in 2011.

At just 20, Foran is already taking his place as the senior partner ahead of 21-year-old Cherry-Evans and it's a role he admits will take some getting used to.

"(I've only played) 30 games or so and I feel I've got to take Daly under the wing there, but I'm looking forward to it," Foran added.

"... With Daly coming in he's probably going to be a little bit stand-offish these first few games, I've got to take the responsibility there and lead (the senior) guys around.

"(But) he's really capable of stepping up and doing a good job."

It is the second time in just 12 months the Sea Eagles have been forced to play with a rookie halves combination, after Hodkinson was handed the role last year following the departure of former captain Matt Orford.

Hodkinson blossomed under the pressure, pushing himself into representative football with a City Origin call-up before accepting a lucrative three-year deal with Canterbury worth a rumoured $280,000.

Manly skipper Jamie Lyon believes Cherry-Evans is on the verge of having a similar impact on the competition this year.

"I think he'll have just as big an impact as Trent if not bigger," Lyon said.

"I don't want to put too much pressure on him but we are quietly confident that he can do a great job.

"He's a very good organiser, he's got good ball skills and a great kicking game. He's very quick off the mark.

"He's going to be a great halfback for us I think."

With Cherry-Evans and Foran confirmed as Manly's starting halves pairing for the season-opener with Melbourne, Lyon is hopeful of playing out the 2011 season in his preferred centre position.

"I'm pretty sure I'll be in the centres, that's where I prefer.

"Hopefully I can stay there the whole season," he said.

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