Warren McDonnell, a highly-experienced former Wests Tigers recruiter, is preparing to make a move to the Manly Sea Eagles just a few months after Scott Fulton transferred from Manly to the joint-venture team. McDonnell has been closely aligned with Tigers‘ premiership-winning coach, Tim Sheens, for many years, and comes onboard at the Sea Eagles following his recent departure from the team that came in last place.
Fulton’s move to Concord sparked a well of speculation, with many wondering if he might attempt to seduce some of Manly’s finest young talent to the Tigers. In a recently foiled attempt, new coach Benji Marshall shot down Fulton’s bid to sign Sea Eagles ace Josh Schuster. Despite an initial setback, Fulton has managed to secure the signing of brothers Latu and Samuela Fainu from the Silvertails for the coming season.
Fulton delivered another significant coup with the signing of Dragons‘ playmaker Jayden Sullivan, committing him to the Tigers on a four-year contract. Sullivan is anticipated to form a dynamic duo with Leeds Rhinos veteran Aidan Sezer in the halves beginning in 2024.
Interestingly, Fulton’s intimate knowledge of Manly’s salary cap position can be paralleled with McDonnell’s insight into the Tigers‘ roster. The Tigers boast some of the most promising young talent in the league, a number of whom were pinpointed by McDonnell.
As a Manly list manager, alongside Peter Gentle, McDonnell’s knowledge of junior talent within the Sydney basin will be invaluable. He is likely to utilise his network for his new employer’s advantage. Tigers players Luke Brooks and Tommy Talau are already signed to the Sea Eagles for the next season, and there may be more additions that McDonnell could influence.
A few of these players, and possibly some still under contract, could be asked to part ways to make room in the salary cap after a determined recruitment drive. Matt Lodge is exempt from this decision, despite his ACL injury. The well-travelled prop is expected to stay after making only three appearances since his transition from the Roosters.