Jamie Lyon calls on centre Steve Matai to stay

Last updated 14:48 25/07/2014
Steve Matai
IN DEMAND: Manly star Steve Matai is reportedly being courted by the Warriors.

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He insists there's no divide at the club, but Manly captain Jamie Lyon wants disgruntled centre Steve Matai to remain at Brookvale.

A day after star teammate Kieran Foran said Matai should be granted an early release from his NRL contract to join the Warriors, Lyon said he was hopeful the New Zealand test ace would stay.

But he also understands why 29-year-old Matai wants to move on.

''I'm 50-50 on Steve,'' Lyon said.

''He's such a great mate as well and such a very good player.

''I'd like to see him play from a selfish point of view, just to keep him in our team.

''But I can see where he's coming from as well. He's getting a little bit older.

''But I'm just going off rumours that he's got a good opportunity over there (in New Zealand).

''But I'll sit on the fence on that one.''

Despite their differing views on the matter, Lyon claimed there was no divide within the squad and the players' minds remain on the job.

Matai earlier this week confirmed he'd asked the club for a release, while State of Origin star Anthony Watmough refused to hose down reports he was also seeking to leave amid reports Brett Stewart is looking to follow his brother Glenn out the door.

Foran on Thursday said Matai should be allowed to leave and conceded the drama surrounding the New Zealand Test centre's future was affecting the side.

But the episode has had no apparent affect on the field, with the Sea Eagles sitting at the top of the ladder as they prepare to take on the Warriors in Auckland on Sunday.

Lyon said it was business as usual for the table-toppers before departing for Auckland.

''There's no issue,'' he said.

''There might have been a few boys a little bit angry, but not everyone's going to be happy all the time in any workplace.

''I really don't think there's an issue. Everyone's starting to move on now.''

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