Noted Tweeter Ben Honig (@benosboyy) may have broken this story wide open when he Tweeted this screen shot of Aiden Guerra’s Instagram account:
I wrote a couple of days ago that Manly were expected to sign Tom Symonds in the coming days, while James Hooper of the Daily Telegraph tweeted that the rangy ranger had all but signed with the Sea Eagles. Nothing has been officially announced on the Roosters’ website, but at this stage it looks like a fait accompli.
You know what? Good on him.
There were two moves here that he could’ve made to get a guaranteed start: Manly, thanks to Tony Williams leaving and Glenn Stewart’s 10-week injury; and Penrith, which could seriously use all the talent it can get its hands on.
By going to Manly, not only does he get to stay near the beach, but he gets to fill that bench utility role filled for the past two years by Jamie Buhrer, who should get the start now with Tony Williams gone and Joe Galuvao getting some grey hairs around the temples.
And Tom Symonds is a first grader. He can fill any spot in the backline (in theory) having come through the grades as a five-eighth but with the size of a back-rower. He has a decent set of skills and can be utilised in a number of ways.
Will he ever play Origin? No. But he can be a serviceable player in the NRL before he chases the riches in Super League.
I always envisioned that he’d fill that role off the bench that Chris Flannery filled in the naughties. Alas.
We can all but officially put Tom Symonds on the list of local juniors who have left the club in the past half-decade or so with first-grade talent:
- James Tamou (Paddington Tigers)
- Blake Ayshford (Paddington Tigers)
- Anthony Cherrington (Paddington Tigers)
- Sandor Earl (Paddington Tigers)
- Tom Symonds (Bondi United)
But hey, at least we have Luke O’Donnell.