Barrett hits back at calls to remove DCE as captain

Steve Zemek

Manly coach Trent Barrett has hit back at suggestions Daly Cherry-Evans is unfit to captain the Sea Eagles.

It was a case of another week, another drama for the silvertails as Cherry-Evans was the subject of an expletive-laden tirade from former teammate Anthony Watmough on a podcast.

Watmough lifted the lid on what was a long-running split amongst the Sea Eagles playing group, slamming Cherry-Evans' behaviour and accusing him of holding the club to ransom over contract demands.

It was yet another slight on Cherry-Evans' reputation with the No.7 often painted as difficult to deal with.

Some have pointed to rumours he has been blacklisted by the Queensland State of Origin team and his decision to back out of a contract with the Gold Coast as proof he was a distracting presence.

It led to questions about whether he was the right man to lead the club and whether the captaincy should be handed over to Jake Trbojevic.

However Barrett came to the defence of Cherry-Evans, describing him as well-liked amongst the Sea Eagles playing group and pointing to his game-winning ability as proof of his leadership capabilities.

"We gave him the captaincy for a reason," Barrett said.

"We've got Jake there as our vice-captain and he's still learning. Jake is only very young, he's still in the infancy of his career.

Is Daly Cherry-Evans the man? Pic: Getty

"With Chez, what people don't see is what he does here. He's very popular among the playing group.

"There's probably no other player in this side that works as hard as him. He wears a loss as hard as anyone. What you can never question Chez on is his effort.

"There's been times when we haven't been able to win a few of those close ones this year but last year I think he won us four golden point games. That can't be questioned. He's got our full support."

Barrett was reluctant to comment on Watmough's blast but said it was simply a case of two players who didn't get on.

He said the best reply was to come out and beat St George Illawarra at WIN Stadium on Saturday.

"When you're down, it all comes and this is just another example," Barrett said.

"It's been one of those years to be honest. Cherry knows how we feel about him."