2023 NRL Season Preview
20 Feb 2023

2023 Manly Sea Eagles NRL Season Preview

It’s a case of what could have been for the Sea Eagles during the 2022 season. They ended the season in 11th place on the ladder, but things could have been different if it wasn’t for the multiple Tom Trbojevic injuries. There were a number of issues off the field for the Sea Eagles last season, mainly the pride jersey saga. Eventually, all this came to a head and Des Hasler was fired, along with a good chunk of the coaching staff.

Recruitment Report

While the Sea Eagles haven’t seen much movement in players this off-season, the players that did move were fairly key. In terms of the players that the Sea Eagles have gained, the player that stands out the most is Kelma Tuilagi, who is coming from the Tigers. They also have Ben Condon from the Cowboys, Cooper Johns from the Storm and Nathaniel Roache from the Eels all joining the squad in 2023.

When looking at the players the Sea Eagles have lost, there are a few big stars, including Kieran Foran, who has moved to the Titans. While Dylan Walker has made the move across the ditch to the Warriors, and Martin Taupau is heading north to the Broncos. Andrew Davey is another player that is moving on from the Sea Eagles, heading to the Bulldogs.

Ins: Kelma Tuilagi, Ben Condon, Cooper Johns and Nathaniel Roache

Outs: Kieran Foran, Dylan Walker, Martin Taupau and Andrew Davey

Key Player: Tom Trbojevic

No surprises who the key player for the Sea Eagles is – Tom Trbojevic. He has been the key for many years now, and if he is fit the Sea Eagles generally play well, but if he is out injured, they don’t. The last handful of seasons have been difficult for Trbojevic who has only been able to play 44 games in the last four years. One of the most damning statistics for the Sea Eagles is since 2019, when Trbojevic is playing, they win 68% of their games, if he is not on the field, the win percentage drops to 34%.

Rising Star: Viliami Fifita

Viliami Fifita will be hoping to make his NRL debut in the 2023 season. He has been in the academy system since he was 14 years old, and he has shown his dedication and loyalty to the club. The big front-rower is on the Sea Eagles’ top 30 roster for the next two seasons, and we could very well see him on the field this season, with the likes of Taupau and Davey moving to different clubs.

5 Key Matches To Watch

Match 1: Round 3, vs Eels, at 4 Pines Park (Thu, Mar 16, 7:50pm)

Match 2: Round 7, vs Storm, at 4 Pines Park (Fri, Apr 14, 8pm)

Match 3: Round 11, vs Sharks, at 4 Pines Park (Sun, May 14, 4:05pm)

Match 4: Round 17, vs Storm, at AMMI Park (Sat, Jun 24, 7:35pm)

Match 5: Round 21, vs Sharks, at PointsBet Stadium (Sun, Jul 23, 4:05pm)

2023 NRL Season Expectations

A lot of the expectations for the Sea Eagles rest on one man, Tommy Turbo. If he remains fit for the majority of the season, a Finals spot is certainly achievable, if he spends more time on the side-lines, then they won’t make the top eight. It seems as though the Sea Eagles have put all their eggs in one basket again this season with Turbo, and it didn’t really work last year either. They also have a new coach, and the squad isn’t as cohesive as needed to produce consistently positive results.