Just three days after leaving Townsville, Matthew Wright will be rushed into Manly’s depleted backline for Saturday’s NRL clash against North Queensland.
Injuries to Brett Stewart (hamstring), Tom Trbojevic (ankle), Jorge Taufua (collarbone) and Tim Moltzen (knee) have left the Sea Eagles’ backline stocks at crisis point just two months into the season.
Utility Api Koroisau is also considered a 50-50 chance of playing.
Coach Trent Barrett said he would have no hesitation throwing new buy Wright straight into the fray against his former teammates.
“I know Matt very well. I actually played with him when I was at Cronulla,” Barrett said on Friday.
“He was only 17 then and I was at the other end of it. He’s going to be valuable to us. To get him this week, (it’s) ironic that he plays against the club that he left three days ago.”
It’s not just in the outside backs where the Sea Eagles have been hit hard by injury, with Jayden Hodges, Jamie Buhrer and Isaac John also sidelined.
It means that just eight rounds into the season, Manly have almost spent their entire second tier salary cap.
Barrett said Wright’s arrival was a godsend.
“Lucky for us he is here this week because we would’ve been in a fair bit of trouble,” he said.
“We have issues with our second tier because we have used a hell of a lot of players. We’re only into round eight but I’ve got some options there.
“Matthew Wright’s a first-grader who’s played close to 100 first grade games so I thought it was a logical one for us.”
Wright, 25, played 62 games in five seasons with the Sharks before moving to the Cowboys in 2014, where he appeared in 34 games over two years.