Taupau ends Manly NRL exit speculation

Martin Taupau has declared he's staying with Manly for at least the next two NRL seasons.
Martin Taupau has declared he's staying with Manly for at least the next two NRL seasons.

Martin Taupau has declared he'll see out his contract with Manly and remain with the NRL club until at least the end of 2020, ending ongoing speculation about his future.

Taupau has been linked with several of the Sea Eagles' rivals over the past year, including the Sydney Roosters, Cronulla and Canterbury.

The Kiwis forward admitted to being frustrated and in the dark about the ongoing rumours last season, using it as a motivation on the field in 2018.

With Manly set to play their first trial under new coach Des Hasler against Cronulla on Saturday night at Shark Park, Taupau confirmed there was no chance he was leaving Brookvale.

"I think the last thing I heard back in October that I was going to an ex-club, I think I was playing for eight clubs in a week," Taupau said.

"I'll put this to bed: I'm not going anywhere, I'm definitely not going anywhere. I'm here until 2020.

"With having everyone come on board and Des, I'm definitely not going anywhere."

Taupau has been one of Manly's most destructive forwards since he joined them in 2016, but arrived with a hefty price tag from the Wests Tigers.

He previously played under Hasler at the Bulldogs but was released in the veteran mentor's second season at the club in 2013, with a year still to run on his contract.

The 29-year-old Taupau said he was happy to work with Hasler again.

"It's all about respect with Des. He doesn't demand it, he gets it," Taupau said.

"With Dessie he also brings that Manly DNA, this club is rich in history and he's also rich in success.

"It's just awesome to have him back.

"It's not only Des, everything has changed.

"We've experienced a few bumps over last year but hopefully it will be pretty smooth this year. Fingers crossed."

Australian Associated Press