The Manly Sea Eagles have added depth to their dummy-half options after signing former Eel and Warrior's utility Nathaniel Roache on a train-and-trial deal ahead of the 2023 season, per the Daily Telegraph.
After playing 11 games in his first season, injuries started to take a toll, but he managed 26 games for the New Zealand club between 2016-19.
After joining the Eels, Roache impressed in the NSW Cup and quickly earned a call-up to the NRL team. But in his one and only NRL appearance for the Eels, disaster struck. Roache suffered his third anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in his short career and was left to ponder his future.
He's spent the past 12 months working in a warehouse and working on his knee rehabilitation, and has now decided to chance his arm one more time in the NRL.
“I'm going to give it one last crack,” he told the Telegraph.
“I'm feeling good and fit after the last surgery.
“I was working from 2.30pm to midnight and then doing my rehab and fitness during the day.
“When you've played footy for so long you forget what the real world is like. It's been a blessing in disguise.
“I've prided myself to get back as quick as I can in the fitness side of things. Durability has always been my problem. My main goal is to get through pre-season and impress during the trials.”
Roache enters the Manly squad with Lachlan Croker having the No.9 jersey safely tucked away after a personal-best season that saw him claim the club's Player of the Year award.
Roache is just one of a number of players who will enter the 2023 pre-season on a train and trial deal. Others include Josh Reynolds, who returns to the Bulldogs, and Tristan Sailor, who could make his return to the NRL depending on the success of his deal in Brisbane.