Manly five-eighth Dylan Walker admits he fears the chop following the resurgence of his housemate Apisai Koroisau.
With star halfback Daly Cherry-Evans due back in a fortnight, coach Trent Barrett is facing a selection dilemma due to Koroisau’s sparking form as his replacement.
It might have been unthinkable a month ago that Koroisau could jump ahead of Walker in the NRL club’s playmaking queue, but that’s what Walker now acknowledges could happen.
“He (Koroisau) might kick me out of my spot to be honest,” Walker said on Monday.
“I don’t know if he will go back (to NSW Cup). He’s been one of our standout players the last couple of weeks and Trent’s the sort of coach who’ll reward you for success.
“He’s been playing really well and I don’t think he’ll be losing his spot any time soon.”
Cherry-Evans began running on his injured ankle late last week and while the club insists he won’t be considered for the Anzac Day clash with Newcastle, he is expected to be right to take on defending premiers North Queensland in round nine.
Off-season recruit Koroisau started the year at hooker for Manly but was dropped to NSW Cup just two rounds in after being usurped by Matt Parcell.
But after receiving a reprieve when Cherry-Evans was injured, he has been a revelation at No.7, winning two man-of-the-match awards, and statistics support the impression he’s outshone Walker in their three games in the halves together.
Walker was lured from South Sydney with plans to make him the long-term playmaker replacement for departed star Kieran Foran and Barrett may still be reluctant to stray from that course.
Monday’s clash with Newcastle shapes as a real test for Koroisau and Walker, who won a premiership together with the Rabbitohs in 2014.
They have had just a handful of training sessions as a halves combination, due to the Sea Eagles’ tough draw which has included two five-day turnarounds in the past three weeks.
With an 11-day break between Thursday’s 22-10 loss to Parramatta and next Monday’s clash with Newcastle at Hunter Stadium, they will finally be afforded plenty of time on the training track together.
“We’ve only trained three or four times together since we’ve been playing with each other so it’s going to be good,” Walker said.
HOUSEMATE AGAINST HOUSEMATE
How Apisai Koroisau and Dylan Walker have performed over the last three rounds
* Walker: one try, one linebreak, eight tackle busts
* Koroisau: one try, three try assists, three linebreaks, one linebreak assist, 14 tackle busts
Source: Fox Sports Stats