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Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

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Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Club information
Full name Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Nickname(s) Sea Eagles, Silvertails
Colours      Maroon
Founded 4 November 1946
Departed 1999
Readmitted 2003
CEO(s) Joe Kelly
Chairman Scott Penn
Coach(s) Trent Barrett
Captain(s) Jamie Lyon
Competition National Rugby League
2015 season 9th
Premierships 8 (1972, 1973, 1976, 1978, 1987, 1996, 2008, 2011)
Runners-up 11 (1951, 1957, 1959, 1968, 1970, 1982, 1983, 1995, 1997, 2007, 2013)
Minor premiership 9 (1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1983, 1987, 1995, 1996, 1997)
World Club Challenge 1 (2009)
Most capped 309 - Cliff Lyons
Most points 1,917 - Graham Eadie

The ManlyWarringah Sea Eagles are an Australian professional rugby league club based on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. They compete in the National Rugby League's (NRL's) Telstra Premiership, the premier rugby league competition of Australia. The club first appeared in the 1947 New South Wales Rugby Football League season and currently plays home matches out of its ground Brookvale Oval whilst being based at the New South Wales Academy of Sport in Narrabeen.

Manly-Warringah competed in the NSWRL, ARL and NRL every season until 1999. At the end of 1999, the club entered into a joint venture with the North Sydney Bears to form the Northern Eagles, which Rugby League statisticians regard as a different club. The Northern Eagles competed in 2000 and 2001, before the joint venture collapsed, allowing Manly-Warringah to return to the NRL as a stand-alone club in 2002. They abandoned the Northern Eagles brand at the start of the 2003 season.

Since winning their first premiership in 1972, the club has won a total of eight First Grade titles, with their most recent premiership being the 2011 Grand Final. The club's eight titles span five consecutive decades. Since their first Grand Final appearance in 1951, the club has appeared in 18 Grand Finals in seven consecutive decades. The club has never won the wooden spoon in its 63 seasons, the longest period of any current club.

Cliff Lyons holds the record for most first-grade games for Manly-Warringah with 309; Steve Menzies played 349 games, but 69 were for the Northern Eagles. The record for most points scored is held by Graham Eadie with 1,917 points and Matthew Ridge has the highest total in one season, scoring 257 in 1995. Brett Stewart holds the top try scoring record with 162, beating the record previously held by Steve Menzies who scored 151 tries and is also the highest try scoring forward in the history of the game.


  • History 1
    • Northern Eagles 1.1
    • Resurrection 1.2
      • 2007 season 1.2.1
      • 2008 season 1.2.2
      • 2009 season 1.2.3
      • 2010 season 1.2.4
      • 2011 season 1.2.5
      • 2012 season 1.2.6
      • 2013 season 1.2.7
      • 2014 season 1.2.8
      • 2015 season 1.2.9
  • Emblem and Colours 2
  • Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Leagues Club 3
  • Stadium 4
  • Players 5
    • 2016 Squad 5.1
      • 2015 Signings/Transfers 5.1.1
    • Past players 5.2
  • Coaches 6
  • Records and statistics 7
  • Honours 8
  • Supporters 9
  • References 10
  • Sources 11
  • External links 12


The first Manly-Warringah logo, which appeared in the early 1950s.

By the mid 1940s, the movement to expand rugby league in Sydney had gained serious momentum and Manly, as with all the other Sydney district rugby clubs, endured internal agonies as the new "League" was considered. The NSWRL accepted Manly's application and, along with Parramatta, they were granted admission to the 1947 competition.

The North Sydney Bears endured an exodus of players to the newly formed team. The Bears lost half of their games in 1947, before spending the next four seasons at the bottom of the ladder.

Manly immediately adopted the maroon and white colours they had used for their Presidents Cup team since its inception and borrowed originally from the Freshwater SLSC of which Ken Arthurson & other players were members. For their emblem they chose the sea eagle – the native bird of prey of the Sydney coastline. Although a number of media writers referred to Manly as the "sea gulls", the club maintains that it has always officially been the Sea Eagles.

Manly's first premiership game was against the Western Suburbs Magpies at Brookvale Oval on Saturday 12 April 1947. Max Whitehead, who had first played for Norths in 1942 and was a member of their 1943 Grand Final team, was Manly's first captain. Whitehead was a big barrel-chested second rower who was used by Bonds as the model for their iconic "Chesty Bond" character. Their first win was against the Parramatta Eels and the club finished their first season in second last place.

Old Manly-Warringah club logo

Manly's first Grand Final appearance was in the 1951 season, which they lost to South Sydney. Manly-Warringah played in five Grand Finals before winning their first premiership in 1972. They then won the following year in 1973 and again in 1976 and 1978. The 1973 final against Cronulla is reputed to be one of the hardest and toughest grand finals, at least in the televised era. There were several incidents of players being hurt, in particular very tough and hard English import Mal Reilly was "taken" out early and didn't take any further part in the game.

Manly were powerful in the early 80s but were beaten in two consecutive Grand finals by Parramatta, in 1982 and 1983. Their next premiership was won against the Canberra Raiders in the 1987 Grand final. Coached by Bob Fulton, the Sea Eagles returned to the play-offs in 1993 and 1994 but were beaten on each occasions in the first elimination semi-final by the Brisbane Broncos.

In 1988, Manly, missing six regular first grade players, including captain Paul Vautin, Michael O'Connor and Phil Daley who were all playing in the first Ashes series test just four days later, plus other stars such as Dale Shearer, Mal Cochrane and David Ronson (all six had played in the 1987 Grand Final win), put the touring Great Britain Lions to the sword with a 30-0 demolition at Brookvale Oval. Teenage halfback Geoff Toovey was named man of the match, scoring one of the Sea Eagles five tries on the night while the side was led by Noel Cleal who had a point to prove after being a shock omission from the Australian team. Great Britain's coach for their 1988 tour was Mal Reilly who had played lock forward for the Manly in their 1972 and 1973 Grand Final wins.

In 1995, amidst the Super League war, Manly produced one of its most dominating seasons in the club's history but in one of the league's biggest upsets, were beaten by the Bulldogs in the Grand Final.

In 1996 Manly made another Grand Final appearance and beat Newcastle Knights and the Sea Eagles were beaten on the full-time siren by a Knights try.

The Manly teams of 1995 to 1997 produced some of the most entertaining football in Sea Eagles' history, but also featured rugby league's strongest defence. Many great players featured, including Des Hasler, Geoff Toovey, Nik Kosef, Steve Menzies, Terry Hill, Mark Carroll, Cliff Lyons, David Gillespie, Craig Hancock, Danny Moore, John Hopoate, and former NZ All Blacks Matthew Ridge and Craig Innes.

After 1997 the club lost form on the field, recording only 10th place in the 1998 season, and missing the finals in 1999.

Northern Eagles

Manly-Warringah would usher in the new millennium by merging with the North Sydney Bears to become the Northern Eagles. This venture would run between 2000 and 2002. The club was formed during the rationalisation process of the NRL. The team would share home games between Brookvale Oval and Central Coast Stadium, Gosford, New South Wales.

Little success was had during these three seasons, finishing 12th, 10th, and 9th, winning 30 of 76 games. Also, the new clubs decision to play games in Gosford instead of the Bears home ground at North Sydney Oval alienated several North Sydney fans, despite North Sydney's planned move to the new Central Coast Stadium. In spite of this, the club provided more players for the 2001 State of Origin series' New South Wales team than any other club. The partnership foundered in 2002, with Manly emerging as the stand alone entity. The 2002 season was played under the Northern Eagles name, although effectively the club was the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles by another name. Halfway through the season, the Eagles even abandoned playing games at Gosford, due to a sharp decline in attendances. The people of Gosford preferred to wait until a home grown team was based there. The joint venture would collapse by the end of the 2002 season and Manly would officially make a welcome return to the NRL in 2003.


The joint venture collapsed and Manly retained the Northern Eagles licence for the 2002 season until returning to the competition as Manly Warringah Sea Eagles for the 2003 season. The 2003 and 2004 seasons produced very few moments of joy for Sea Eagles supporters. The club improved its playing stocks for 2005, and reached the semi-finals for the first time since 1998. Manly have not missed the finals since, whilst every other club have missed the finals at least once since 2004. A meeting of the Football Club in 3 June 2004 saw the club members vote for the privatisation of the Football Club.

Manly Sea Eagles in action against the Sydney Roosters at Brookvale Oval in June 2008

2007 season

Manly would finish the regular season in 2nd (out of 16) place. Manly only lost six matches in the 2007 season. Their 50-16 mauling of Newcastle ensured they would finish in the top two. Throughout the season they were the only club chasing Melbourne (whom they beat in round 11) for the minor premiership. After defeating North Queensland at the Sydney Football Stadium 28–6, Manly played in their 15th grand final against Melbourne. Manly were beaten 34–8 by the Storm on 30 September at Telstra Stadium.

Melbourne would later be stripped of the 2007 title for salary cap breaches. Manly were not recognised as the 2007 premiers (the premierships for 2007 and 2009 being declared null and void). This title had led to calls for Manly to be given the 2007 title, however the NRL have refused.

2008 season

With the departure of hooker Michael Monaghan, many questioned whether the Manly could be as competitive as in 2007 and losses in the first 2 rounds seemed to confirm this. Manly finished the regular season tied first with Melbourne and Cronulla but 2nd on points differential and Manly missed out on claiming their first minor premiership since 1997.

In the qualifying final Manly faced 7th placed St. George at Brookvale. This game was club legend Steve Menzies' last game at Brookvale and he opened the scoring with an unusual charge down try in which after kicking ahead to himself and falling over, the ball bounced up and hit him in the head before he finally grounded it. After getting the week off, Manly faced the history-making New Zealand Warriors. Manly crushed the Warriors 32–6 and showcased their trademark wall of defence and attacking flair. With the win, Manly qualified for their 17th grand final, where in a rematch of the 2007 decider, they would play the Melbourne Storm.

The story was very different for the Sea Eagles this time around as they decimated the Storm 40–0 to win their seventh premiership in front of 80,388 at ANZ Stadium. It was Michael Monaghan's replacement, the previously unknown Matt Ballin who scored the first try of the match. The game was also notable for winger Michael Robertson's hat-trick and retiring legend Steve Menzies' try 10 minutes from full-time, which he scored after coming back onto the field to replace the injured Steve Matai. Manly prop forward Brent Kite was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal after a powerhouse display which included a classy try in the 58th minute. This is the largest winning margin in a grand final in rugby league history.

2009 season

The 2009 season boded poorly as a result of two incidents on the day of Manly-Warringah's season launch. Second-rower Anthony Watmough was assaulted by a sponsor after allegedly making inappropriate comments to his daughter .[1] Brett Stewart later that night was charged with the sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl outside his apartment block, of which he was subsequently cleared, an incident which led to the damning Four Corners investigation, "Code of Silence". Stewart was cleared of the charge in late September 2010 by a jury which took 45 minutes to reach their decision.

Manly-Warringah paid a $100,000 fine for failing to adequately punish Stewart for his offence. Stewart faced a brief trial at the time, and a further, more comprehensive trial began in March 2010. As a result of Stewart's absence, Manly lost their first four games of the season, crashing to last place after round four (thus becoming the first defending premier since Melbourne in 2000 to lose their first four matches of a season), before finally achieving a 23–10 win against the Tigers in which Stewart scored three tries in his first match for 2009. A double against Souths followed, before injury struck. Stewart only played five games overall in 2009 following a serious knee injury suffered in round six, before returning in round 25. The Sea Eagles snared fifth place at the end of the season and lost the first qualifying final to eventual grand final winners Melbourne 40–12 in a one-sided contest played at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium. Due to other unfavourable results occurring on the weekend, Manly were eliminated from the premiership race. This premiership was also stripped from the Storm.

2010 season

In 2010, Manly-Warringah started the season with a team of many new faces, including young playmaker Kieran Foran. After narrowly losing their first two games of the season, Manly won their third, following three matches against Newcastle, the Warriors and the Sharks before a late season slump saw them settle for eighth position on the ladder. Manly-Warringah players were not involved in any further violations in 2010, and embarked on an active program of community engagement, which included activities such as reading at schools and raising money for charities.

Manly-Warringah spent much of the middle of the season near the top of the ladder and were earmarked as a possible premiership contender with impressive wins over the St. George Illawarra, although Manly-Warringah were still in the game with 15 minutes remaining. Manly went into this game with 11 of their first choice players out with either injury or suspension and many of those who did play were still carrying injuries.

2011 season

At the end of the 2010 season Manly-Warringah lost Trent Hodkinson who signed a deal with the Bulldogs from the start of the 2011 season, as well as Josh Perry and Ben Farrar to the European Super League. Manly-Warringah had not made any big-name signings for the 2011 season. This showed up in its lowly 8th placing, its poorest performance in a season since 2005.

Manly-Warringah's 2011 season started with an 18–6 loss to the Melbourne Storm in Melbourne. Brett Stewart had minimal impact on the match but escaped injury-free. This was followed with an upset 27–16 win over beaten 2010 Grand Finalists the Sydney Roosters, where Manly-Warringah went into the match without its captain Jamie Lyon, Shane Rodney, Dean Whare and Glenn Stewart through injury and also Jason King and Steve Matai through suspension. Brett Stewart was appointed acting captain for the Roosters match. This is regarded as one of the most commendable wins in Manly's history[2] and featured outstanding performances by its younger players including Kieran Foran, Jamie Buhrer, William Hopoate and Vic Mauro. This was followed up with a 26–12 win over the Newcastle Knights at Brookvale, before a 32–20 loss to the South Sydney Rabbitohs which ended Manly's unbeaten run at Bluetongue Stadium, having won all of its previous matches at the venue.

Anthony Watmough and Terence Seu Seu were both stood down by the club for off-field offences prior to its round five match against Cronulla at Toyota Stadium. The Sea Eagles were in trouble midway through the second half, down 13–0, before scoring 19 unanswered points, including a try after the siren by Michael Oldfield, to give the Silvertails a 19–13 victory.

Despite losing many players from the 2010 season, the Sea Eagles found themselves sitting in second place on the NRL Ladder at the end of the regular season, behind the Melbourne Storm. They lost only five matches in the season, all being night matches. Manly-Warringah won all of its matches at Brookvale Oval, again nicknamed "Fortress Brookie". The final game at Brookvale was a Top of the Table Clash against the Melbourne Storm. Manly won this game 18–4 but the win was overshadowed by a brawl between Glenn Stewart and Adam Blair, giving the game the nickname 'The Battle of Brookvale'.

In their opening playoff game, Manly-Warringah registered a 42–8 win over the North Queensland Cowboys at the Sydney Football Stadium. After a disappointing first half, Manly scored 42 unanswered points in the 2nd half, and progressed to the preliminary final. In this match, they defeated the Brisbane Broncos 26–14 to be the first team through to the 2011 NRL Grand Final, where they met the New Zealand Warriors who were vying for their first ever premiership.

A season of success culminated in Manly-Warringah winning its eighth premiership, defeating the New Zealand Warriors 24–10 in the Grand Final. Glenn Stewart was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal for his 34 tackles and a crucial try in the second half. He and brother Brett Stewart became the first brothers to score tries in the same Grand Final. Manly-Warringah's second premiership in four years make them the only team thus far to win more than one premiership in the 21st century.

Six Weeks after Manly-Warringah's premiership win, the club dismissed head coach Des Hasler after he was revealed to have breached his contract by trying to lure coaching staff and players to the Bulldogs where he was to have started coaching in 2013. This meant that Geoff Toovey, who was to take over as part of a succession plan, was immediately elevated to the role of head coach from the start of the 2012 season.

2012 season

Manly-Warringah's pre-season started dismally with a 38–6 loss to perennial strugglers Cronulla in the first match played under new coach Geoff Toovey. This was followed by a 26–12 loss in the 2012 World Club Challenge to Leeds Rhinos.

The Sea Eagles' premiership defence began with an away trip to Kogarah by 17–4.

Manly-Warringah ended the 2012 Regular season in 4th position on the ladder.After Being defeated by the Bulldogs in the first week of the finals Manly Defeated the Nth Queensland Cowboys effectively ending their season. However the Sea Eagles season ended the next week after being defeated by eventual premiers Melbourne Storm.

2013 season

Manly-Warriingah could look at 2013 as a whole and be proud of just how much they achieved.

Ambushed early in the year by the sudden rise of two new title contenders in South Sydney and the Sydney Roosters, Manly spent much of the season flying under the radar with a top four spot safely in their keeping, but minor premiership never truly within their reach.

In fact, as the season wore on a mounting injury toll had many predicting this squad of ageing warriors were bound to hit the wall. Certainly a series of gruelling encounters at the business end of the season provided plenty of excuses had they wanted to use them, but instead it seemed the greater the challenge the more the Sea Eagles lifted to tackle it.

Having not beaten a fellow top four side all season, they finally did so in style with a 28-8 thrashing of Melbourne in Round 25 to warm up for the finals. For a side that so many tipped to begin a downward slide in 2013, Manly proved to all and sundry just what a champion side they are. Despite facing a number of hurdles through the course of the season – from a lengthy list of injury woes to the ASADA investigation which threatened to become a significant distraction at times – they managed to grow in stature as the season progressed and when the big games were there to be won at the back end of the year their experience shone through.

Like any quality side, their failure to top it all off with a win in the grand final will rankle over the off-season but premierships were never meant to come easily. any would still be able to look back with plenty of pride and satisfaction at another brilliant season in which they proved they are one of the NRL’s real power clubs.

2014 season

Most of the headlines for Manly throughout the year came more due to off-field reasons following news popular back-rower Glenn Stewart would be joining Souths in 2015 with the club's salary cap constraints preventing them from making him an offer.

It's a measure of the Northern Beaches club's decade of excellence that to bow out in the second week of the finals will be deemed a comparative failure by both players and fans. This is what happened after a late-season stutter saw them relinquish their grip on the minor premiership, lose several key players at just the wrong time, and get bundled out of the 2014 Finals Series in straight sets despite their top-two finish. Even though they rceieved a top-two finish, bowing out second week of the finals resulted in an unsatisfactory result for the Sea Eagles for a side that was running first from rounds 18-25. They had their fair share of luck throughout the season but it deserted them at the wrong time and ended Manly's season and encapsulated their late downturn in fortunes. There were huge questions over which senior players would stick around until the end of, or beyond, their current contracts. It was questioned if this could be very much a new-look Manly side in the next year or two but as long as the club can lock down its two star halves past their current 2015 deals the future should remain bright.

2015 season

Manly would struggle to maintain the previous consistency they produce over the past decade. They had made the finals every year for a decade, anything short of a top eight finish would have been seen a failure.

With success comes high expectations and Manly certainly didn't hit their own lofty standards in 2015. The club had endured one of its toughest seasons of the modern era with highly publicised contract sagas involving their biggest players, the sacking of their coach and club legend Geoff Toovey and a late but ultimately helpless last throw from a champion side to make the finals.

2015 will be forever remembered as the changing of the guard at the northern beaches club, when their era of dominance crashed dramatically back down to earth. It was a changing of the guard for Manly, a year where an era of dominance finally came to an end. They lost stalwarts Anthony Watmough (Eels) and Glenn Stewart (Rabbitohs) and struggled for a large chunk of the season. They now lose Kierran Foran (Eels) and coach Geoff Toovey. In saying that, Manly had a strong back half of the 2015 season and finished 9th, just missing the finals. After recruiting a number of players for season 2016 such as forward Nate Myles, 2016 looks promising.

Emblem and Colours

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 2016 Commemorative logo

Manly- Warringah were granted entry to the 1947 NSWRL first grade competition on November 4, 1946. Upon entering the NSWRL, Manly took on the colours of maroon and white. These were adopted from the colours of the President's Cup side who wore the colours of the local Freshwater Surf Lifesaving Club, which was previously established in the area in 1908.

Manly Warringah chose the sea eagle – the native bird of prey on the Sydney coastline – as its emblem. The club's first jersey was maroon with a large white 'V' on the front. Manly-Warringah teams were one of the first to feature an emblem, with an 'MW' appearing in the early 1950s. Far from the flashy logos worn today, the Manly 'Sea Eagle' has appeared on all jerseys since the mid 1950s.

Various changes to the jersey were introduced at irregular intervals. The classic 'V' design was radically changed in the late 60's when the jersey was changed to a maroon with several narrow twin horizontal bands. In the mid 70's this was reversed for a while to a white jersey with maroon bands. Through the 80's and 90's other changes occurred which featured variations of the maroon and white with occasional blue.

The team has always been officially known as the "Sea Eagles" since 1947. However, in 1957, Manly first utilised the Sea Eagle on their apparel although there was some confusion over this, when a journalist named Jim Mather (Sydney's The Telegraph) began referring to the team as the "Seagulls" in his reports. This was picked up by other journalists and some fans, and at a time when club logos and nicknames were not used as prominently as they are today, the team was often misquoted as the "Seagulls" in this era. However, officially Manly-Warringah have always been the "Sea Eagles".

Manly-Warringah would then change their logo a decade later in 1960, which depicted more accurately a sea eagle so as to not create such confusion again.

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 2006 Commemorative logo

From the 1980s, Manly-Warringah would go on to use perhaps their most famous of logos used in what is regarded as their most successful years up until the creation of the new competition.

In conjunction with the new competition the National Rugby League, Manly-Warringah would change their logo in 1998. A new stylised sea eagle appeared under the 'Sea Eagles' banner, much more fierce and aggressive than its predecessor. It featured predominantly maroon, white, yellow and blue to symbolise the connection the club had with its major sponsor at the time Pepsi. This logo would not last however when the ill fated merger with North Sydney Bears in 2000 saw them take on the Northern Eagles moniker instead.

Upon their return in 2003, Manly opted to revert to the previous logo but tweaked it slightly to focus on the sea eagle itself and include Warringah in the club's name again. They also returned to their original colours however a darker shade of maroon and white, a symbol of their roots steming back from 1947. This logo has been in use since then.

The Sea Eagles have donned commemorative logos every decade since their 50th in 1996 and 60th in 2006 to mark their respective anniversaries of inclusion in the competition. Following this tradition, in 2016 Manly-Warringah will wear a new logo to celebrate its 70th Year Anniversary. The logo bares homage to that of the one dating back from the 1960s, one of the first worn by the proud club.

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Leagues Club

Manly-Warringah Rugby League Club is one of the leading clubs on Sydney's northern beaches and boasts in excess of 16,000 members.

Manly Leagues has always enjoyed a close association with the mighty Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and is very proud of the team. The Club's charter includes the support of rugby league in the local area and the outstanding history of the Sea Eagles highlights the success of this support.[3]

Members enjoy a variety of promotional benefits and the club offers free entertainment every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. Sea Change Brasserie is open from 12 noon Monday to Saturday and 9.30am Sunday. Enjoy a coffee at Homeground Coffee Bar open from 9.30am 7 days. The Menzies Bar and Lounge is the place to be for all your sporting needs with TAB, Skychannel, Fox Sports, ESPN and Keno. Free Wi-Fi available throughout the Club. ATM facilities are available adjacent to Reception.


When Manly were accepted into the competition, the locals denied the club permission to use Manly Oval as a home ground. The council at the time was very pro-rugby union and attempted to stop the rival code spread to the area. Because of this, the club decided instead to acquire Brookvale Showground (now known as Brookvale Oval) to host matches, which was supported by Warringah Council, who still own the ground as of 2014.

The ground was mostly renovated between 1965 and 1980, including the construction of two grandstands along both the southern end (Southern Stand) and western side (Jane Try Stand) of the ground. In the early 1990s, these two grandstands were connected by the Ken Arthurson Stand. The ground has also retained grassy hill areas along the eastern and northern edges. On 1 September 2008, the Southern Stand was renamed the Fulton-Menzies Stand.

In recent years, Manly-Warringah have received criticism over the state of facilities at Brookvale Oval. In 2007, Manly-Warringah stepped up their campaign for government funding to improve the stadium, culminating in a "Save Brookvale Oval" Rally on 21 November. As of September 2008, $4,000,000 of Warringah Council funding and a $6,000,000 NSW State Government grant has been secured by the club to allow for the initial redevelopment of the Jane Try Stand (with an additional level) and improvements to the Southern Stand and other amenities. A further $10,000,000 was sought from, and granted by the Federal Government for the development of an eastern stand, with the intention of maintaining a 10-metre deep grassed area in front of it.[4]

In recent seasons, Brookvale Oval has been regarded as a graveyard for many opposition teams, thus earning the nickname "Fortress Brookvale".[5] Manly went through the 2011 season undefeated at its home ground, with no visiting team victorious at the ground since Round 26, 2010. In 2014, Manly held a 10-1 record at Brookvale Oval, narrowly losing to the Melbourne Storm in Round 1.

Today the ground has a capacity of about 23,000. In 2006, the ground saw its largest average attendance over an entire season, with an average of 15,484 patrons watching each of the club's 11 matches played there. The record crowd at the ground is 27,655, set in the final round of the 1986 season against traditional rivals Parramatta. Since the club started playing in 1947, over five and a half million spectators have visited the ground.

Of the permanent venues used by the NRL in 2014, Brookvale Oval sits in second place for the most number of games played with 692 games behind only the 804 for Leichhardt Oval (as of July 2014).

As well as hosting home games at Brookvale, Manly play 1 or 2 home games a year at Central Coast Stadium.


2016 Squad

2015 Signings/Transfers



Past players

In 1990, the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles club recognised their players, past and present, with a team announced to reflect the best squad up to that point. That team is listed below.

No. Position Player
1 FB Graham Eadie
2 WG Tom Mooney
3 CE Michael O'Connor
4 CE Bob Fulton
5 WG Les Hanigan
6 FE Wally O'Connell
7 HB Des Hasler
13 LK Malcolm "Mal" Reilly
12 SR Terry Randall
No. Position Player
11 SR Phil Lowe
10 PR Roy Bull
9 HK Max Krilich
8 PR John O'Neill
14 RE Ian Martin
15 RE Alan Thompson
16 RE Steve Norton
17 RE John McDonald

In 2006, a Dream Team of former Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles players was selected by a panel of selectors which featured former Manly-Warringah administrator Ken Arthurson, respected rugby league writer Ian Heads, the club chairman Kerry Sibraa and journalist Phil Rothfield.

No. Position Player
1 FB Graham Eadie
2 WG Ken Irvine
3 CE Ray Branighan
4 CE Bob Fulton
5 WG Michael O'Connor
6 FE Wally O'Connell
7 HB Geoff Toovey
8 PR Roy Bull
9 HK Max Krilich
No. Position Player
10 PR John O'Neill
11 SR Steve Menzies
12 SR Terry Randall
13 LK Malcolm "Mal" Reilly
14 RE Des Hasler
15 RE Ben Kennedy
16 RE Cliff Lyons
17 RE Paul Vautin
CO Frank Stanton (coach)


¹ Sharp was also coach of the Northern Eagles between 2000 and 2002

Records and statistics


1972, 1973, 1976, 1978, 1987, 1996, 2008, 2011
1951, 1957, 1959, 1968, 1970, 1982–83, 1995, 1997, 2007, 2013
  • New South Wales Rugby League, Australian Rugby League and National Rugby League minor premierships: 9
1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1983, 1987, 1995, 1996, 1997
  • New South Wales Rugby League Club Championships: 4
1972, 1983, 1987, 1988
  • Pre-Season Cup titles: 1
1982, 1983
  • Sevens: 3
1990, 1994, 1995
1954, 1960, 1969, 1973, 1988
  • Jersey Flegg: 4
1961, 1974, 1987, 1988
  • Presidents Cup: 2
1946, 1970
  • Third Grade: 1


The Sea Eagles, nicknamed the Silvertails, are well known as a team that most working-class rugby league fans traditionally love to hate.[8] Notable supporters of the club include Jim Anderson,[9] Allen Aylett,[10] Wendy Harmer,[11] Allen Aylett,[12] Billy Birmingham,[13] Hugh Jackman,[14] Thomas Keneally,[15] Sean Fagan,[16] Jean Hay,[17] Doug Mulray,[18] Peter Phelps,[11] Mike Goldman,[19] Miles Stewart,[20] Sarah Murdoch,[21] the current NSW State Premier Mike Baird [22] and the former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott[23]


  1. ^ Code of Silence, Four Corners, broadcast on the ABC on 11 May 2009
  2. ^ Ritchie, Dean (21 March 2011). "Fulton rates Manly's win one of best", The Courier-Mail.
  3. ^ Manly Leagues Club Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  4. ^ [2]. "Funding Boost for Brookvale Oval Project". (2013)
  5. ^ Fortress Brookvale ready for Hasler. The Sydney Morning Herald. (19 July 2012). Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  6. ^ Up until 1994, the top division of the premiership in New South Wales was the New South Wales Rugby League premiership; since then, it has been the Australian Rugby League (1995–1997) and the National Rugby League premierships.
  7. ^ Up until 2002, the second division of rugby league in New South Wales was Reserve Grade/Presidents Cup/First Division Premiers; since then, it has been the NSWRL Premier League.
  8. ^ Moore, Andrew (2005). Testosterone Overdose: Popular culture and Historical Memory (PDF). London: Routledge. p. 15. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  9. ^ Hanna, Jim (30 April 2003). "Five new scholarships to honour late MP". Australia: AAP General News. Retrieved 5 October 2009. 
  10. ^ Goodwin, Dorothy (26 September 1982). "Eels Premier Tip". Sun-Herald; League Souvenir (News). Retrieved 27 September 2009. 
  11. ^ a b "Author tips script to go out the window". The Sydney Morning Herald. 28 September 2007. Retrieved 5 October 2009. 
  12. ^ Goodwin, Dorothy (26 September 1982). "Eels Premier Tip". Sun-Herald; League Souvenir (News). Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
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  14. ^ "Crowe to miss final, Jackman in doubt". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 September 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2009. 
  15. ^ "NSW recognises Keneally's literary talents". ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 20 May 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2009. 
  16. ^ Slattery Media. "Interview". Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
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  18. ^ Koslowski, Michael (25 September 1997). "Field of teams". The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia). p. 6. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  19. ^ "Friday Night Download's Mike Goldman was Manly's mascot". The Daily Telegraph (Australia). 2 October 2008. Retrieved 16 April 2010. 
  20. ^ Weidler, Danny (14 March 1999). "Athletes told to fake it". Sun-Herald. p. 119. Retrieved 6 October 2009. 
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  • Rugby League History; Sean Fagan
  • Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players, 1999; Alan Whiticker and Glen Hudson
  • ABC of Rugby League, 1995; Malcolm Andrews
  • Heritage Report on Brookvale Oval, Mayne-Wilson & Associates; August 2005

External links

  • Rugby League Tables and Statistics; Paul Jeffs
  • Official Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Website
  • Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Annual Report 2008
  • Manly Sea Eagle Supporters site EST 2002
  • Silvertails Supporters site
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