NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 30: Sean Keppie of the Sea Eagles is tackled by David Klemmer of the Knights during the round 12 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Manly Sea Eagles at McDonald Jones Stadium, on May 30, 2021, in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

The Manly Sea Eagles will be without forward Sean Keppie in the coming weeks as he makes a dash home to Sydney.

Keppie has returned to Sydney to be at the birth of his first child, according to a report from The Daily Telegraph.

The 23-year-old is understood to have returned well ahead of the birth on medical advice that there could be an early arrival. Keppie's partner is not due until mid-August however, meaning it could be a length stint not playing for Keppie, who has fast become an integral part of Manly's middle third rotation.

Keppie will return to Queensland following the birth, but under Queensland health orders, will need to go undergo a two-week quarantine period.

The Queensland border is currently closed to all of New South Wales, with the NRL receiving special exemptions in order to fly players or family into the state.

Keppie has been a critical part to the Manly middle third rotation this season, the youngster growing strongly into the team and signing a new contract with the club just weeks ago.

SEAN KEPPIE
Prop
Sea Eagles
2021 SEASON AVG
72.6
All Run Metres
0.1
Tries
0.9
Tackle Breaks

He has been utilised more over the past month thanks to the injury to Jake Trbojevic, while he has also spent time on the edge in the second row, proving his versatility to Des Hasler.

It's understood that with the baby potentially not due until mid-August, even flying back immediately after could see Keppie return, at best case, in Round 25, but more than likely only for the finals, unless the baby arrives early.

Manly chief executive Stephen Humphreys said Keppie had the full support of the club.

“We all thought it was in everyone’s best interests for Sean to return home and support his partner, Laura, through the final stages of her pregnancy and then be there for the birth,” said Humphreys.

“That will mean some disruption in our final games of the year.

“But it was definitely a family-first approach and we wish Sean and Laura all the best and hope he will be able to re-join his teammates in a few weeks.”