Manly’s Waddell to play 100th game against former club

Esther Linder |

Corey Waddell (c) will play his 100th NRL game when Manly face Penrith on Saturday.
Corey Waddell (c) will play his 100th NRL game when Manly face Penrith on Saturday.

Manly’s milestone man Corey Waddell has detailed how he spent an off-season determined to break into the Sea Eagles’ starting side, ahead of his 100th NRL game against Penrith. 

Left unsigned by Canterbury at the end of last season, Waddell was on the outer before being picked up by Manly on a one-year deal in October.

His move to the Sea Eagles marked a homecoming of sorts, having played 36 games for the club in 2019 and 2020.

Handed a bench spot against South Sydney in the Las Vegas season opener, Waddell has impressed enough to hold on to the position despite the likes of Tof Sipley returning from suspension.

“I’ve just worked really hard in the off-season, I really wanted to make the team come round one, that was my goal,” Waddell said on Tuesday. 

“We’re looking forward to the season and just to put some good performances in for the team and for myself too.”

The Penrith junior is set to celebrate his 100th NRL appearance when Manly play his formative club on Saturday at 4 Pines Park. 

“I just wanted to play one NRL game as a kid. Now I’m here, you know, at 100 and it’s pretty special,” Waddell said. 

“It’s just a good time to reflect on where I’ve been and how far I’ve come and I just think it’s great milestone for myself.

“To think that I get to run out on the weekend for the same club I debuted at and play 100 games is pretty special.”

Prop Taniela Paseka said Waddell’s return to Manly had demonstrated a commitment to the game that shone through the forward’s contract woes. 

“He’s always had that hard-work ethic. He understands about, you know, more about footy,” he said. 

“He’s just an all-around player now … he’s more confident.”