Rookie Morgan Harper has been named at fullback as Tom Trbojevic’s replacement in Manly’s final pre-season hit-out against the Tigers.
The 22-year-old played five games for Manly last season at centre but will line up for the Sea Eagles in the No.1 jersey in Sunday’s trial against Wests.
Trbojevic is expected to be out for the first month of the season. It’s been a hellish ride for the Manly star who missed most of last year with a ruptured hamstring in his left leg, after he was out with the same injury in 2019.
Hasler has shown faith in Harper who surprisingly beat out teammates Tevita Funa and Reuben Garrick for the role.
Exciting youngster Josh Schuster has been named to start in the No 6 jersey, while Hasler has opted to rest Kieran Foran and captain Daly Cherry-Evans ahead of the season opener.
Forward Taniela Paseka will start in the front-row in place of Addin Fonua-Blake after the Tongan international’s move to the Warriors, while Cade Cust will start at hooker following Danny Levi’s exit from the club.
New recruit Josh Aloiai has been named on an extended bench. The Leichhardt Oval clash will be the last trial game for Hasler’s side head of their season opener against the Roosters on March 13th.