Tigers in dark over Mannah’s arrival
WESTS Tigers players are still in the dark about Tim Mannah's impending arrival at the club but have welcomed the veteran's addition to the roster.
Mannah, who has played 233 games for Parramatta after making his debut in 2009, is expected to leave the Eels as early as this week to join the Tigers.
Tigers forward Ben Matulino said Mannah will bring invaluable experience into the side.
"I've known Timmy since 2008 when I played against him in the 20s and I've always gotten along with him," he said.
"I'm looking forward to it. He's a pretty nice guy and I guess it can only boost our team. He has a lot of experience and we could use him in our team at the moment."
Tigers backrower Ryan Matterson revealed the news about Mannah's signing had come as a surprise to the playing group on Tuesday morning.
"I think Tim will bring experience to any side that he plays in. We've got a lot of experience in this side and having another one would be good. I don't really know what's going on. I just read it in articles on the way to training, I haven't been filled in," he said.
A number of players, including Russell Packer and Matulino, are reportedly on the outer at Concord but Matterson insisted the headlines have not impacted the players.
"I don't really read the articles that come. Some say, does the external head noise impact on the side? I say it doesn't because we are just so close knit we don't care what the external people are saying. The morale and the energy of the boys, you wouldn't think we have come off three losses. It's positive in that sense that Madge [Michael Maguire] is trying to keep us together," he said.
Matulino also revealed he has some making up to do with his new teammate.
When Matulino first arrived in Sydney from the Warriors in 2017, Mannah reached out to the newcomer. But a wrong phone number proved to be a hurdle in a budding friendship.
"I met him properly when I came here at the hotel [I was staying in] and the first thing he did was ask me how I'm settling in and gave me his number and said if you need anything let me know. And this was from someone you only know through playing against," he said.
"When I gave him my number it was my New Zealand number so he's probably thinking I brushed him. But I'll take care of him when he comes."