The Manly Sea Eagles wasted no time signalling their intent in showing just how much they value Haumole Olakau’atu, re-signing him on a new six-year contract.
The long-term deal will keep the back-rower at Manly until the end of 2031.
Olakau’atu is now the longest contracted player on the club’s roster and keeping him was a no-brainer if you ask Manly coach Anthony Seibold.
“We have seen the growth in Haumole over the last couple of years but, in particular, the last 12 months,’’ Seibold said.
“From a physical point of view, Haumole is an 80 minutes back-rower now.
“The biggest thing that has impressed me over the past year is that Haumole has given himself to the team in a way that a lot of people are now following him.”
Seibold also praised Olakau’atu’s leadership skills that have developed after numerous experiences with Tonga.
“Haumole has graduated into a leadership position at Manly and that’s been the most exciting part of him as a person,” Seibold continued.
He has also grown into a devoted family man.
“We feel that Haumole’s best years are ahead of him and that he can develop into an elite player who can play at State of Origin level for the NSW Blues.
“He has already played at Test level for Tonga but he is at that part of his career now where he can play State of Origin.