MANLY five-eighth Blake Green believes an uninterrupted pre-season can help the Sea Eagles reach greater heights in 2018.
The in-demand veteran was in Wagga on Friday for the The George Maher and Hamish Howard Remembrance Golf Day.
He was one of several sporting stars to hit the fairways of Wagga Country Club for the Pillars of Strength annual fundraiser.
Green had an outstanding year in his first season at Manly, forming a top partnership with Daly Cherry-Evans before the Sea Eagles were bundled out in the first week of finals.
While the rugby league world’s attention turns to the Rugby League World Cup, that starts on Friday night, he believes Cherry-Evans omission from the Australian squad will prove a big advantage for the Sea Eagles in 2018.
“One positive is that we’ve already had a pre-season and a season together as a spine,” Green said about Manly’s hopes next year.
“We think it’s going to be a difficult one for teams, in terms of getting combinations together in the pre-season if you’re new because of the World Cup being on.
“You’re not going to have a whole lot of time, so that’s probably going to be a positive for us.
“We’ve already had some time together and hopefully with Daly and myself not being in the World Cup we’ll have time to work on a few things.”
Green is looking forward to continuing with Manly in 2018.
Speculation has linked him with the New Zealand Warriors as they look to replace star pivot Kieran Foran.
Green, 31, is contracted to Manly for 2018 and is keen to make amends after the Sea Eagles suffered a controversial loss to Penrith in the opening week of finals.
“It was a frustrating end to the year but we only had ourselves to blame,” he said.
“We were fairly inconsistent towards the back end of the season and often your last game is a replica of how you perform and how you travel through the year.
“We were a bit up and down and that’s how we performed in that last game.”
Green is the definition of a rugby league journeyman.
Green played his 200th first grade game this year after starting at Parramatta in 2007.
He spent one season at the Eels, before going on to play at Cronulla, Canterbury, Hull Kingston Rovers, Wigan, Melbourne Storm and now Manly.
He won the 2013 Super League and Challenge Cup titles with Wigan, and also played in the Storm’s losing grand final team in 2016.
Green is now enjoying life at Manly and playing under Temora boy Trent Barrett.
“It’s really good. I’ve really enjoyed him,” he said.
“I’ve enjoyed coming over to the club and playing the role that I’ve had. It’s been great.”
Playing alongside Green in Wagga on Friday was Andrew Webster, who was interim coach of West Tigers for two weeks after the sacking of Jason Taylor.
Former AFL stars Leigh Montagna and Adam Schneider also took part.