The situation at Manly has delivered a silver lining to at least one person – former Dally M Hooker of the Year James Segeyaro.
The former Cowboy, Panther, Shark and Bronco will run onto the field on Thursday for the first time since 2019, when he received a 20-month suspension after testing positive for a prohibited substance. The positive test allegedly came after using a housemate’s blender.
Segeyaro was signed on a train-and-trial deal by the Sea Eagles back in May as they looked to address growing injury concerns. He’s been biding his time and excelling in the lower grades but is now ready for a return to the NRL after the ‘Everyone in League’ jersey fiasco resulted in seven Manly players opting out of the game on Thursday evening.
“Obviously I got the opportunity due to circumstances, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve been working to achieve this for several seasons,” Segeyaro said.
“I never gave up.
“I’m grateful for Des (Hasler’s) faith in me. I’m looking forward to it but I have a job to focus on and I’m confident of playing that role for the team.”
Segeyaro’s return comes a week later than intended. He was meant to come in for covid-affected Lachlan Croker last round but was unable to take the field due to a niggling injury.
At 31 years of age and with 154 NRL games under his belt, he’ll be an excellent source of experience and a key spine addition for the makeshift Manly side ahead of their crucial clash with the Roosters.