‘Didn’t want to be here’: Barrett’s No.6 heartache
RUGBY LEAGUE: Manly coach Trent Barrett has revealed Blake Green "didn't want to be here", and he's not once regretted letting the veteran five-eighth move across the ditch.
The 31-year-old Green was released from the final year of his Sea Eagles contract to take up a lucrative deal with the Warriors.
At the time it was believed the northern beaches club agreed to let Green go as they thought they had Mitchell Pearce's signature locked down.
That deal fell through, and the club's pursuit of fellow experienced playmaker Trent Hodkinson has been stalled by the ongoing salary cap drama engulfing Manly.
Now Barrett will have to hand the No.6 jumper to rookie Lachlan Croker, or choose a makeshift pivot to fill the void left by Green's departure.
But he says he wouldn't do anything different if he had his time again.
"They were unusual circumstances," Barrett said of Green's exit on Sky Sports Radio on Wednesday.
"You can look at it two ways, you can look at it as a bit of a risk to let him go without a replacement locked in.
"But it was also a risk for me in terms of the functioning of the team if you had a player here who had an opportunity to set his family up for the next three or four years, who made it quite clear to us that he didn't want to be here given the opportunity that was in front of him.
"It was a difficult one for me and one we stewed over for a couple of months.
"In the end, we made a decision and if I look back now, no I wouldn't change the decision, I'm really happy with how it worked."
With Manly yet to respond to an NRL breach notice over salary cap rorting, the Sea Eagles are unable to sign any new players.
That's despite the fact Barrett claims to have enough cash to secure Hodkinson from Newcastle.
So Manly will have to work with what they've got on their roster as it stands.
And that means Green's vacated boots will most likely be filled by a guy woh's played just one NRL game to date.
"We're going to have a young guy in there, possibly Lachlan Croker, who has done everything right for the last three months," Barrett said.
"We're going to tinker with a few things … Lachlan so far, he's done everything right and handled everything we've thrown at him."