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The Sea Eagles have been made to withdraw rookie hooker Manase Fainu from making his debut against the Dragons this Saturday after the NRL did not grant the club an injury exemption.

Fainu, 19, was selected to face St George Illawarra in Wollongong, but the NRL had not cleared him to play. The NRL declined Manly’s exemption request, on the grounds that they had three fit hookers, Jackson Hastings, Lewis Brown and Matt Wright, on their list.

Manly re-applied for their exemption, disputing that Fainu is a hooker, Hastings is being used a five-eighth for Blacktown Workers, while Brown and Wright are utility types.

Hastings was not selected to play this week, while a foot injury to dummy half Api Koroisau further depletes the team’s hooker syocks.

Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett is now faced with a selection headache, with Brown the most likely to fill in the no. 19 jersey this Saturday.

“The NRL has said no at the moment so we’ve just got to wear that and move forward,” Manly chief executive Lyall Gorman told The Daily Telegraph.

“It’s their right to say no and they have. I will never get frustrated or disappointed over interpretations of the rules.

“We all know what they are. We put up a case for exemption and it will either be approved or knocked back so there’s no point throwing your toys out of the cot.

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“You just have to get on with business.

“We are already at 30 players otherwise we could have moved him (Fainu) straight in. We play under the rules and regulations.”

An NRL spokesman told The Daily Telegraph: “The player is currently a development player. In order for him to play in the Telstra Premiership the Club would need to request an exemption based on the circumstances, or alternatively upgrade the player’s contract.”

8 COMMENTS

  1. Yes we have Hastings, but to include brown and especially Matt wright as available hookers is ludicrous. Brown is actually a backrower who can fill in elsewhere, and wright is a winger and not even a good one of those…

    • How so? lewis has played in hooker for every club hes played for, i think its reasonable… and we have tom wright to utilise as well… fair call – well done for once NRL

      • Yes brown can play hooker, but he isn’t one, the call is fine because we have Hastings who can play there, Lewis brown couldn’t be expected to play 80 mons of hooker when he has been playing backrow in reserve grade. Matt wright is simple, he’s a winger nothing that resembles a hooker..

    • Not as ludicrous as your comments ‘bob’ – Do you actually watch NRL ?
      Looks like Hastings is going to Super League next week. Take a bow DCE.

      • Ah you been smoking the happy weed again???
        What about my comment??
        Yes Hastings had an enquirer about super league but nothing close to a deal, so he is available and can play hooker.
        Lewis brown is a backrower amd utility at best, amd I’m sure I’m the couple games I’ve watched of nrl matt wright is a winger who had filled in at fullback and centre, and last 2 weeks HAD to go to hooker because of injury.
        So yep do watch nrl obviously you don’t see much

    • Mate actually none are, Hastings was a fullbacks turned half, filled in hooker.
      Brown is a backrower who fills in hooker and well wright is a slow useless winger

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