The long-term signature of teenager William Hopoate has become priority number one for the Sea Eagles following his brilliant two-try performance at Brookvale Oval on Sunday.
The off-contract Hopoate will again come under the microscope on Friday night when he goes head on with South Sydney superstar Greg Inglis.
Manly coach Des Hasler has indicated regular centre Jamie Lyon could be available to play the Rabbitohs in Gosford. Giant back Tony Williams will also be monitored after pulling out of the Knights match with an ankle injury.
But the focus is on young Hopoate, who has stamped himself in the NRL following his powerful two-try haul against the Knights at Brookvale.
“He’s definitely one that we want to retain,” Hasler told The Manly Daily.
“Will’s putting plenty of pressure on everybody, two weeks in a row now he’s come up with important tries.
“He’s got good genes too, I’m not talking about John, I’m talking about his mum. He doesn’t get too far ahead of himself and he’s really stepped up now. He’s been very good for us.”
The 18-year-old told the Daily he only has plans to stick around at Brookvale to follow the path laid by his father, former firebrand winger John Hopoate.