Shute Shield Season Preview: MANLY with Phil Blake

by Paul Cook - After featuring in finals football for the last five years – and making the Preliminary Finals in the last three - it’s time for Manly to go at least one step further and contest their first Grand Final since 1997, the last time they lifted the Shute Shield. That’s the mantra coming out of the Village Green as the Marlins look ahead to this year’s competition, and after an off-season where they have retained all of last year’s 1st grade squad while adding a sprinkling of talent in key areas, the signs are that they should be serious contenders once again. Coach Phil Blake begins his first full season in his second stint at the club, after returning midway through last year to replace France-bound Tim Lane. Rugby News got his thoughts on the months ahead for the Marlins, the introduction of the NRC and more… ******************************************
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