The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles have announced the retention of outside back Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega on a one-year deal, keeping the youngster at Brookvale for 2024.
Vaega debuted last season for the Sea Eagles and managed to make seven appearances in 2023, crossing for his first two career tries across the final two games of the season.
Manly head coach Anthony Seibold has been impressed by the 23-year-old back, and sees big progress on the horizon for Vaega.
“Ray showed this year that he is an aggressive outside back,'' Seibold said in a club statement.
“There were some really positive performances, particularly against the Melbourne Storm at 4 Pines Park in round six. I thought he was outstanding that night.
“He showed at the back end of the year that he could play at this (NRL) level.
“The challenge for Ray now is to build consistency into his game and to have a really good pre-season to give himself the best opportunity to push for a starting position.
“One of the things we have done is we have added outside backs to our roster.
“We are trying to bring great competition for spots and Ray is part of that outside back unit who are all fighting really hard to find a back five role to start the season at our round zero game in Las Vegas.”
Vaega will have heavy competition for a backline spot in 2024, with Jaxson Paulo and Tommy Talau joining the likes of Reuben Garrick, Jason Saab, Tom Trbojevic, Tolu Koula, Brad Parker and Christian Tuipoluto in the squad.