It’s not just the Rainbow Pride jersey that’s causing an uproar for the Manly Sea Eagles: a bad NRL season

It’s not just the Rainbow Pride jersey that’s causing an uproar among the Sea Eagles: power struggles, coaching troubles and a tug-of-war are also threatening to tear the club apart after a diabolical end to the season

  • Manly is reportedly grappling with many internal conflicts within management
  • The famous Fulton family has met with longtime coach Hasler
  • Star players like the Trbojevic trio have expressed their frustration with the club

Running headfirst into a club rift between a legendary family and beleaguered manager Des Hasler, Manly reveals cracks well beyond the Pride jersey saga.

The Sea Eagles struggled through the final rounds of the season, losing all seven of their final games amid the internal conflict over the Pride jersey.

Seven Manly players chose not to play the Roosters in Round 20 because the rainbow jersey supporting freedom of sexuality was not in line with their beliefs.

Club chairman Scott Penn and newly appointed CEO Tony Mestrov are aware of internal rifts between members of the famous Fulton family and Hasler, who have clashed on many areas including player development and culture.

(LR) Brett, Kristie and Scott Fulton are major influencers at Manly, all with key roles in recruiting and pathways

(LR) Brett, Kristie and Scott Fulton are major influencers at Manly, all with key roles in recruiting and pathways

Sea Eagles' newly appointed CEO Tony Mestrov has his hands full as he resolves internal conflicts at the club

Sea Eagles’ newly appointed CEO Tony Mestrov has his hands full as he resolves internal conflicts at the club

Penn has said the parties are shooting at Hasler, who has one year left on his contract.

Bob Fulton’s family is a big influence on the club, his sons Scott the recruiting manager, Brett the SG ball coach and daughter Kristie the manager of Elite Pathways.

Fulton’s children are believed to disagree with Hasler’s strategic approach to using rising stars.

Bob Fulton's kids reportedly disagree with coach Des Hasler, causing frustration in the playgroup

Bob Fulton’s kids reportedly disagree with coach Des Hasler, causing frustration in the playgroup

Many divisions in the playing group are also leading to team changes that could see Jake Trbojevic take over as captain for 2023.

The Trbojevic brothers are reportedly fed up with this internal strife and are considering leaving the club to which they also once swore allegiance.

Rising youngster Josh Schuster has also caused a stir when he considered requesting a release from his contract.

The likes of Billy Slater and Shane Flanagan have already been tossed around as possible replacements for Hasler, who could decide to leave or be ousted from Manly, where he has coached over 300 games.

Josh Schuster has been named as the future Manly captain by club legend Bob Fulton - but was stopped at five eight due to Hasler's love for Foran

Josh Schuster has been named as the future Manly captain by club legend Bob Fulton – but was stopped at five eight due to Hasler’s love for Foran

Scott Fulton did a great job discovering the likes of Schuster, the Haumole Olakau’atu steam train and the Tolutau Koula runabout.

The Fultons have many allies in rugby league, alongside former media executive Peter Peters and radio legend Ray Hadley.

It is alleged that one of the three Fultons slammed an older player for criticizing a teammate who retired in the Pride jersey round.

Assistant Steve Hales has been dubbed an up-and-coming head coach, while Hasler has the support of longtime skipper Cherry-Evans.

Sea Eagles players don the Rainbow Pride jersey in Round 20 - before their season implodes

Sea Eagles players don the Rainbow Pride jersey in Round 20 – before their season implodes

2023 is also a problem for Manly, who have managed to sign just one new player, Tigers second rower Kelma Tuilagi.

To make matters worse, Sea Eagles club legends let go of Kieran Foran to make room for Jason Saab and Josh Aloiai’s extensions – a move that didn’t sit well with Turbo and Jake.

“I’m certainly aware that (the Trbojevics) are winners and they want to win,” Penn said.

“What we have to do is put in place the structure that gives them the best chance of winning prime ministerial positions and that’s what we want.”

Jake, Ben and Tom Trbojevic are fed up with internal conflict at Manly and are reportedly considering leaving the company

Jake, Ben and Tom Trbojevic are fed up with internal conflict at Manly and are reportedly considering leaving the company

Utility Schuster was also touted as a future Manly captain by passing legend Fulton but was stopped at five eight due to Hasler’s love for Foran.

If Hasler is to survive the long offseason and coach into the third round of 2023, he will become the longest-serving Sea Eagles coach.

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/nrl/article-11178061/Not-just-rainbow-pride-jersey-causing-turmoil-Manly-Sea-Eagles-NRL-season-gone-bad.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 It’s not just the Rainbow Pride jersey that’s causing an uproar for the Manly Sea Eagles: a bad NRL season

Maureen Mackey

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