NRL 2024: Josh Schuster unwanted by 16 clubs, Des Hasler, Gold Coast Titans, Manly Sea Eagles, contract, future

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Matty Johns believes Titans coach Des Hasler is the best coach to get Josh Schuster’s career back on track as it emerged that all 16 remaining clubs are not interested in the Manly star.

Schuster is on a three-year deal worth $800,000 a season, but was recently given permission by Manly to find another club.

The skillful back-rower has been languishing in reserve grade after a number of seasons hampered by injury setbacks and inconsistent form, with Ben Trbojevic and Corey Waddell now ahead of him in the pecking order at Manly.

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The Daily Telegraph reported Schuster has been shopped to all 16 remaining NRL clubs, but at this stage has no takers.

The 22-year-old faces being washed up as an NRL player at the tender age of 22, despite being mentioned as a NSW Origin bolter in 2021.

Schuster has struggled with his weight and injuries, which saw him fail in his switch to five-eighth and now he can’t get a start in the back row in Manly’s top 17.

The prodigious talent has scored five tries in 50 NRL games since his debut in 2020, but has played more than 15 games in a season since 2021 and is yet to play a game in 2024.

Speaking on SEN radio, Johns believes a reunion with former Manly coach Des Hasler at the Titans is the best way to turn Schuster’s flagging career around.

“The coach who has got the best out of Schuey (Schuster) before, has got him fit, has got a history of players struggling with their weight and getting them in tip top condition is Des. Des has always proven he can do that,” Johns told The Run Home with Joel and Fletch.

“Moses Suli was the example where Moses coming through the grades was a prodigy, but he hit a certain part of his career… where he really struggled with his weight, really struggled with his discipline.

“Dessie got him into Manly… and away his career went, I think he could do the same for Schuster.”

The winless Titans are struggling in 2024, but ironically they need Schuster more as a half as they are well stocked in the back row.

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Schuster could combine with former Manly teammate Kieran Foran in the Titans halves, but his best performances in the NRL have come in the second row.

Johns insists wherever Schuster ends up, his new coach will need to make allowances to help him succeed.

“It’s not just coaching the great players with great personalities, it’s about coaching the players that need a bit more rope, need a bit of extra tension and being able to give those players that to get the most out of them and not upset the other players,” Johns said.

“If there’s a club out there that says ‘we’re gonna give Schuster a crack’, then they’ve gotta put everything in place and really try to help him on the way.

“I’ve always found him a really affable, good guy… he’s too talented of a player… he’s not ready for the scrap heap yet.”

Originally published as ‘Not ready for scrap heap’: Johns identifies coach to turn Schuster’s career around amid 16-club snub