Tom Trbojevic in action for the Sea Eagles.
Tom Trbojevic in action for the Sea Eagles. Mark Nolan

Millions won't shift brothers from Sea Eagles nest

RUGBY LEAGUE: You could deadset drive a dump truck full of money up to the Trbojevic homestead, and you wouldn't prise two of the NRL's hottest talents out of their Beaches bubble.

How incredibly, utterly Manly.

The Dragons gave it a go, to the tune of a reported $6 million combined over three years starting from 2018.

Brothers Jake and Tom didn't bat an eyelid between them.

The Mona Vale locals that still live at home with mum and dad are Manly men until the end of 2020, the club securing long-term commitments before the rest of the NRL got a legitimate crack at them from November 1.

They don't come cheap. Recent Kangaroos debutant and club vice-captain Jake's extension comes in at around $2.1 million over the next three years.

Twenty-year-old Tom collects a cool $2.7 million as the successor to Sea Eagles patron saint Brett Stewart.

But ask them about those rival temptations, and you wonder if the pair would actually stay put for peanuts.

"I think being a local, my decision was already made. So those other offers were a bit hard to counter the Manly one,” Tom tells

"It was an easy decision to make for both of us given we've grown up here and love the club.

"It would take a lot to get me to leave the club honestly and we're very happy here.”

That last line must sound awful sweet to the maroon and white masses.

Jake Trbojevic in action for the Sea Eagles.
Jake Trbojevic in action for the Sea Eagles. Ashley Feder

In recent years they've watched the likes of Daly Cherry-Evans, Kieran Foran, Glenn Stewart, Anthony Watmough and Jamie Buhrer walk out of Brookvale, not to mention favourite son and ousted coach Geoff Toovey.

Cherry-Evans came back, the rest didn't, though none truly wanted to leave in the first place.

Jake, who has spurned serious dollars previously from the Bulldogs as an 18-year-old, says neither St. George Illawarra or an uncertain 2018 salary cap even crossed his mind during negotiations.

"There was a bit else there for us, but I honestly didn't give them much thought at all really,” Jake says.

"I've never contemplated leaving Manly at all.

"I was just happy playing for Manly, the salary cap (uncertainty) didn't really come into consideration at all, it was just what I want to be doing.

"The one thought I had was 'I just want to play for Manly'. The timing was right.”

The Dragons wanted the brothers as a package deal, the Sea Eagles kept them that way.

The Stewart siblings ended up on the Peninsula in the same manner some 16 years ago after the Saints decided they wanted local junior Brett, but not Glenn.

Both Trbojevics are noncommittal on whether they actually are inseparable. They've never played against each other beyond the backyard.

"It's worked out that way, we like playing at the same club and love playing at Manly, so yeah I guess you could see us as a package,” Tom says.

"I'd definitely prefer to play together, I wouldn't want to be running at him.”

Jake's memories of those backyard rumbles explain that last one. And this next one.

"It may happen some day but we're lucky that for the next four years we're together at Manly,” he says.

"You never know what's going to happen down the line but if I had to, bloody oath I'd clean him up.

"It was always pretty competitive, being the older brother I'd normally come out on top but Tom got a bit faster over the years, he'd probably win now if we got one on one.

"He probably cried a few times, he was a bit of a crier back in the day but I never got him too bad. I toughened him up.”

That was half a lifetime ago. If Manly play their cards right, they'll have two of the NRL's hottest talents for the rest of it.

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