Manly release Addin Fonua-Blake after contract bombshell

Manly star Addin Fonua-Blake has been cut adrift by the Sea Eagles — free to negotiate with rival clubs.

Despite remaining contracted to Manly until the end of the 2022 season, the club dropped a bombshell on Wednesday morning when it announced the Tongan prop is free to leave to a rival NRL club at the end of the year.

According to The Australian’s Brent Read, the Warriors and the Broncos are the early front-runners to secure Fonua-Blake’s signature after he made a special request to the Sea Eagles to leave Sydney for personal reasons.

“Warriors very interested in Fonua-Blake,” Read posted on Twitter.

“Expect them to take an immediate offer. Have salary cap space and a genuine desire to sign him.

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“Hearing Broncos may also have an interest in Fonua-Blake but yet to confirm.”

It was only at the end of the 2018 NRL season that the Sea Eagles snapped up Fonua-Blake for the long-term with a two-year extension that took him through to the end of 2022.

The Sea Eagles confirmed Fonua-Blake’s request in a statement.

Half the competition will be interested.Source:Getty Images

“The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles can confirm that International prop, Addin Fonua-Blake, has expressed his desire to relocate out of Sydney with his young family at the end of the 2020 NRL Season,” the statement claimed.

“He has sought permission for his manager to discuss this possibility with a small number of NRL clubs.

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“Whilst Addin is a senior and highly valued member of the Sea Eagles squad and would be a huge loss, out of respect to him and his circumstances, the club has today given its permission for the exploratory conversations to be conducted immediately.

“The club will look favourably upon a request to release Addin from the final two years of his contract on compassionate grounds as long as the Sea Eagles receive fair and reasonable compensation.

The club has advised Addin and his manager that this matter needs to be resolved promptly so that all parties can confidently plan for the future.”

The 24-year-old has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons this season.

He was fined $20,000 by the NRL and suspended for two matches following reports he abused referee Grant Atkins by calling him a “f***ing retard”.

He was also in danger of being stood down by the league after initially refusing to consent to a flu jab as part of the NRL’s biosecurity measures in its agreement with the Queensland state government.

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