The Eels and Sea Eagles are both premiership contenders, but they’ve endured inconsistent starts to the 2022 season.
Parramatta’s Marata Niukore returns from injury and into the starting side lock as Ryan Matterson shifts to the bench.
Star winger Maika Sivo was initially named in the reserves, but will instead play in the NSW Cup clash to get his match fitness up as he returns from an ACL injury.
MATCH CENTRE: Eels vs Sea Eagles live updates, score, video
“It’s a little bit frustrating but we know what we need to do to fix it up,” Eels halfback Mitchell Moses said of their inconsistent form on the Fox League pre-game.
“We need to start fast and come with a physical mentality. I’m pretty happy with my form but there’s definitely a couple of areas I want to improve.”
Manly superstar Tom Trbojevic is playing despite concerns over his knee, while Morgan Harper replaces the injured Ben Trbojevic (shoulder) in the centres.
Toafofoa Sipley moves into the starting side at prop as Sean Keppie drops to the bench alongside Josh Schuster who returns from a calf injury.
“We didn’t start as quick as what we should have,” Manly coach Des Hasler said.
“We just have to stay in the grind and that’s what we’ll try and do tonight.
“In the conditions it has to be mistake free coming out of your own end and the kicking game for both sides will be vital tonight.
“We need to come away with a decent performance tonight, it’s as simple as that.”
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