Wests Tigers rookie Manaia Cherrington unfazed by Robbie Farah and Matt Ballin
Date November 19, 2015
Sports reporter & Video journalist
The “third” hooker at the Wests Tigers, Manaia Cherrington, will not be looking to switch clubs despite an apparent logjam for the No.9 jersey now it appears Robbie Farah will stay at the club.
Cherrington has been advised by his manager to learn all he can from Farah and veteran recruit Matt Ballin despite the well publicised stand-off between Farah and coach Jason Taylor.
Farah intends to remain at Concord despite being advised by Taylor to move on or risk playing in the NSW Cup. The coach was seen to draw another line in the sand by recruiting Ballin, who played 217 matches for Manly.
However, player manager Tyran Smith said Cherrington, who recently returned from the New Zealand Kiwis tour of Great Britain, was only focused on succeeding at the Wests Tigers.
"He’s not going anywhere," said Smith when asked if the Farah drama and Ballin’s arrival had made his client consider a change of clubs.
"It’s good, healthy competition and it provides a tremendous opportunity for Manaia to learn from two great hookers. He’s played 11 first grade games and his selection for the Kiwi tour suggests he’s considered an international in the making.
"I’ve advised him to learn all he can from Robbie and Matt Ballin, they’re great players and on top of all that Manaia has the opportunity to continue building on his combinations with Mitchell Moses, Luke Brooks and James Tedesco, three players he’s climbed through the ranks with.
“He won the 18s [premiership] with them, they won the 20s together so it’s a very good situation. Manaia is only 21 and has the chance to serve a great apprenticeship at Wests Tigers.He’s committed to training hard and doing all he can to ensure he becomes the best player he can possibly be.”
Cherrington has been described as being more in the Issac Luke mould than Farah’s, thriving on quick ruck speed and punishing lazy defenders. He was named in the National Youth Competition’s 2014 Team of the Year and captained the Junior Kiwis in their win over the Junior Kangaroos.
When the Tigers returned to pre-season training three weeks ago Taylor explained the reason why he signed Ballin was to add more competition for the No.9 jersey.
On Wednesday night, Taylor gave his strongest indication that Farah would retain his NRL berth next season by saying “if Robbie keeps training how he is there is no reason he won’t be in the team in round one”.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/wests-tigers/wests-tigers-rookie-manaia-cherrington-unfazed-by-robbie-farah-and-matt-ballin-20151118-gl1vam.html#ixzz3s1ZqWHcl
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