While Seibold said Tuivasa-Sheck was available to be signed when speaking to reporters on Friday, he ended the prospect of the former Warriors captain joining the Sea Eagles for the rest of this season during Saturday night’s post-match press conference.
Tuivasa-Sheck is set for a return to the Warriors on a three-year deal from 2024, but the Sea Eagles faithful were hopeful of the gun fullback being swept up by Manly on a short-term contract after Trbojevic suffered a season-ending pectoral injury in State of Origin II.
Under a recently introduced NRL rule, players who are injured in representative games and rubbed out for the season can be replaced by their club by a like-for-like player, even if the squad of 30 is full and there’s no room in the salary cap.
Speaking after a 24-6 defeat to the Storm in Melbourne, Seibold said the Sea Eagles would continue to explore their options.
“We’ll have a think about that. It’s all happened pretty quick. We’ve been away for the last couple of days,” Seibold said.
“I think there’s an opportunity tomorrow (and on Monday) to get with the management and have a look at what we do there, but certainly, we’ve got the capacity to bring in a replacement player, and it’s a like-for-like type of player.
“So if we do go to the market for a replacement it’ll be an outside back that we’re looking for there.”
When quizzed on whether Tuivasa-Sheck was a chance to join Manly, Seibold said: “He’s not available”.
Tuivasa is contracted with New Zealand Rugby for the remainder of 2023 and has a contract with Auckland Rugby for this year’s National Provincial Competition, beginning in August and wrapping up in October.
NRL Highlights: Storm v Sea Eagles – Round 17
But even before Trbojevic suffered his season-ending injury, there was talk of Tuivasa-Sheck returning to the NRL before his botched stint in the 15-a-side game was supposed to end.
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He wasn’t selected in Ian Foster’s 33-man All Blacks squad for this year’s World Cup, nor was he among those picked by Auckland Blues coach Leon MacDonald at the pointy end of the Super Rugby Pacific season.
Reuben Garrick took Trbojevic’s spot at fullback for Manly’s clash with Melbourne on Saturday night.
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