The Manly Sea Eagles are set to axe Josh Schuster to reserve grade for the club's Round 26 clash with the Canterbury Bulldogs.

The Sea Eagles, who have fallen out of finals contention in Anthony Seibold's first year in charge, dropped Schuster to the bench for last week's clash against the New Zealand Warriors.

Instead of playing Schuster at five-eighth - as he had done on all 14 of his previous occasions this year - he was dropped to the pine with mid-year recruit Jakob Arthur starting at five-eighth in his place.

Schuster, who was set to replace Kieran Foran alongside Daly Cherry-Evans in the Manly halves this year, has struggled to stay on the field with injury, and when not injured, has struggled to string performances together with anything resembling consistency.

That hit a new low against the Penrith Panthers, and then against the Warriors in 25 minutes, he didn't make a single run, with Schuster's only involvement on the stats sheet being eight tackles.

News Corp are now reporting that the Manly second-rower and five-eighth will be dropped to reserve grade for this weekend's outing against the Canterbury Bulldogs. His chances of a recall for the clash in the final round against the Wests Tigers will likely hinge on both his performance this weekend for the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles, and the performance of the first-grade team against the Bulldogs.

As it stands, the Sea Eagles' reserve grade outfit are sitting in fifth spot on the table and likely to play in the finals series.

The decision also comes ahead of the arrival of Luke Brooks for 2024.

He is expected to slot straight into the halves alongside Daly Cherry-Evans, with Schuster to return to the second-row, where he had his breakout 2021 NRL season.

Schuster, who has been rated by many as a five-eighth, also spent plenty of time on the edge during his junior playing days and at one stage captained the New South Wales under-18 side from the second-row.

Teams for this weekend's games will be named on Tuesday afternoon.