Daly Cherry-Evans believes Jamie Lyon is the safest option as his partner in Manly’s halves next NRL season as the Sea Eagles seek a successor to Kieran Foran.
Foran’s move to Parramatta has left an opening at five-eighth at Brookvale and Lyon is the leading candidate to assume the role.
Lyon has been one of the NRL’s leading centres over the past decade, but steered Manly to their 2008 premiership win from five-eighth.
At a media launch for the 2016 season on Wednesday, Cherry-Evans said he could see Lyon playing in the halves next year.
“I wouldn’t say that Jamie is the leading contender but it is no secret he is our safest option,” Cherry-Evans said.
“I haven’t trained with the side yet and we haven’t done any team work so I’m not sure who it will be.
“The best indication will come from (new coach) Trent (Barrett) and he hasn’t passed any information on to me yet.”
However Lyon said he would like to stay at centre.
“I would prefer to stay in the centres but it depends how we go in the pre-season and see if anyone really jumps into that spot,” Lyon said.
“I’m happy to play in that spot if Trent wants me there but I have been in the centres for a while now and that is where I would prefer to be.”
Lyon said Tim Moltzen, Isaac John, Feleti Mateo and Matt Parcell were other options for the position.
Brett Stewart is another.
“He is a great fullback ‘Snake’, but he is a great footballer too and I reckon he would be able to handle it if he was thrown in there.” said Lyon, who admitted he was keen to stay as Manly skipper under Barrett.
Utility Peta Hiku is another option at five-eighth for the Sea Eagles after the New Zealander played at No.6 in the Kiwis’ Test loss to England last weekend.
New Manly coach Trent Barrett said he wasn’t in any rush to commit to a new halves combination.
“We have a lot of options there and I am not locking anything in and certainly won’t be until after Christmas,” the former State of Origin playmaker said.
Manly began pre-season training on Monday but Cherry-Evans hasn’t resumed full contract as he recovers from a shoulder option.
He will be fit for round one.