Bold Schuster claim backed by league legends
There’s no doubt in the minds of two rugby league legends that, as forecast by Josh Schuster, the mercurial Manly youngster can become “the best player in the game”.
After a three-match stint on the sideline amid quad and calf injuries, as well as questions hanging over his weight, Schuster made a sparkling NRL comeback as Manly smashed Canberra last Sunday.
And after scoring a try and setting up three others as the Sea Eagles carved out a 42-14 victory in the nation’s capital, Schuster was bullish about his potential.
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“I don’t want to say too much, but I believe I can be the best player in the game one day … Ever since I was young, I’ve always wanted to do this. I know if I continue to work hard, I will be the best player in the world one day,” the 22-year-old told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Andrew Johns backed Schuster’s bold call.
“I think everyone can see it,” Johns said on Wide World of Sports’ Freddy and The Eighth.
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“He’s a special player. You don’t see players with that gifted vision and hands, soft hands, and how big and strong he is.”
Brad Fittler also green-lighted Schuster’s remark, saying: “Take it on”.
But Johns and Fittler, recording this week’s edition of Freddy and The Eighth from the Blues’ Coogee camp ahead of State of Origin I, explained that Schuster must run the footy more.
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“He needs to add some more into his game. He doesn’t run that much,” Fittler said.
“I totally agree,” Johns added.
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“He needs to start running the ball, pick his times to run the ball. If you’re running the ball at the right times, it improves your ball-playing, it improves your passing.
“We can see the talent of Josh; we just need to see it week in, week out. So, that’s the challenge.”
Fittler went further, likening Schuster to former Roosters, Sharks, Blues and Kangaroos star Anthony Tupou.
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”Tupou could do that unbelievably; (he) somehow could just hold the ball up, absorb people and just put it in their bread basket.”
Schuster and his Sea Eagles will meet the Knights in Newcastle on Sunday.
While Schuster paired up with Daly Cherry-Evans in the halves for the Raiders clash, the Samoan international will link up with Cooper Johns for the game against the Knights.
Manly will be without Cherry-Evans and Tom Trbojevic because of Origin duties, while Newcastle will be missing Tyson Frizell.
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