Daly Cherry-Evans believes Kieran Foran’s return can free his own game up as the pair prepare for their first game together as Manly’s halves in 2015 days.
Foran will make his Sea Eagles’ return in Saturday night’s opener against the Sydney Roosters, five-and-a-half years after he left the club.
The pair were the darlings of Manly when they won the 2011 premiership in their first year together as 21 and 22-year-olds, before the salary cap got in the way.
“It’s a different feeling because we have different guys in the team, and also we’ve evolved as players,” Cherry-Evans told AAP.
“But it still feels very comfortable.
“There’s absolutely no worries about someone being too dominant or one of us not getting the ball enough.
“It’s a really fair share of whatever’s best for the team and whatever the game plan is.
“The fundamentals we built a game off a few years ago are still there.”
Much has however changed since 2015, with their contract negotiations causing headlines before Foran was eventually lured to Parramatta.
The pair drifted apart, before a congratulatory message from Foran on Cherry-Evans’ 200th game in 2019 saw them reconnect.
On the field, a lot has been different too.
Foran is the first to admit he needs to be somewhat smarter with his body, having played just 66 games in the five years since.
But he has trust in Des Hasler to be the man to manage him through, after he barely missed a game under him early in his career.
In Foran’s absence, Cherry-Evans has cycled through 13 playmakers since, with the majority of that time spent beside a non-natural half in Dylan Walker.
“I naturally think my role will change a little bit (with Foran back),” Cherry-Evans said.
“You have to play to your strengths with what’s in the side. He is obviously got a bit of halfback in him.
“Obviously he’s best suited to being complimentary No.6.
“But based on what our where our games have gone we’re not going to have to worry about being the sole organiser.”
It’s a notion that suits Cherry-Evans, given one of his best years for Manly since Foran’s departure came when noted five-eighth Blake Green wore the No.6 jersey.
“I’m going to be able to free myself up a fair bit,” he said.
Meanwhile Hasler revealed on Friday the decision to have Walker fill in for the injured Tom Trbojevic at fullback was due to his history in the halves.
“You see fullbacks pushing up all the time now and playing an active role with the halves,” Hasler said.