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NRL: Koula out for Sea Eagles

Manly Sea Eagles will be without Tolutau Koula who was expected to replace star fullback Tom Trbojevic against the Newcastle Knights on Thursday.

The Sea Eagles are priced at 23/20 to beat the Knights but coach Des Hasler has issues at fullback heading in to the clash after Koula was pulled from the squad.

Late withdrawal

Koula was named in Hasler’s original squad but there was no sign of him when the updated list was revealed.

It has since been suggested that the 19-year-old is struggling with one or two injury niggles and the Sea Eagles will not take any chances on his fitness so early in the season.

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Reuben Garrick is now set to fill the No.1 jersey to replace Trbojevic who is facing at least one month on the sidelines with a knee injury.

The news still comes as a surprise as earlier Hasler had been talking Koula up as a perfect replacement for Trbojevic.

Hasler hails Koula

"He's just got talent and the ability," Hasler told reporters. "And there's just that points or something that can happen around him.

"He's got all the requirements to be able to create options, to be able to create points and fast play-the-balls and linebreaks. He's got all those athletic requirements, but his footy IQ has really improved as well and he has worked hard at it."

Elsewhere the Sea Eagle have been boosted by the return of Brad Parker at centre, while Christian Tuipulotu will play on the wing.

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