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Glenn Stewart ready for decider: Hasler
By David Beniuk
16:42 AEST Thu Sep 29 2011

Manly coach Des Hasler has dismissed any suggestion that returning forward Glenn Stewart will be short of a gallop in Sunday's NRL grand final.

Stewart will take his place at lock, having his teammates to thank for an appearance in the decider after a three-game ban for his part in the infamous Brookvale Oval brawl.

The NSW State of Origin incumbent has been one of the Sea Eagles' most influential players and would have pushed for the Dally M medal won by Melbourne's Billy Slater but for the suspension.

Stewart has taken no part in Manly's finals wins over North Queensland and Brisbane but Hasler has no concerns over his match fitness for the ANZ Stadium showdown with the Warriors.

"These days players are working fulltime so it's something that you can monitor pretty closely," the coach told reporters after Thursday morning's grand final breakfast.

"Glenn's fairly experienced as well so he knows what's required and what it takes so it won't be a problem for him."

Hasler said Stewart had nothing but gratitude for the teammates who had taken the Sea Eagles to a third grand final in five years.

"He's been around the side and around the boys as you naturally would be," Hasler said.

"I've no doubt that he'll probably be a little bit nervous at times.

"I thought he was very real and very genuine earlier in the week when he spoke about the past month and just how pleased he was, and thanking those around him that enabled him to be able to take part on Sunday."

The 27-year-old should be a massive boost to Manly, who now have only co-captain Jason King (pectoral) and winger David Williams (neck) unavailable for the decider due to injury.

Hasler will trim a six-man bench on Sunday, with young prop Darcy Lussick sweating on his chances of playing in a grand final after also serving a three-match ban for his part in the round 25 fight with Melbourne players.

"Personally I think Glenn's probably been one of the best and most consistent performers of the NRL throughout the year," Hasler said.

"I noticed with interest at the Dally Ms he polled very well, so it's an obvious reflection of his year and I know he's extremely well thought of amongst his peers."

The Sea Eagles have averted a potential backrow crisis after Anthony Watmough and Tony Williams were isolated from teammates as a precaution when they went down sick.

The key forwards missed Thursday morning's grand final breakfast with colds but Hasler said they were in no doubt for the decider and would train on Friday.

Manly captain Jamie Lyon said in-form 118kg wrecking ball Williams was lifting the side in a similar way to giant winger Manu Vatuvei for the Warriors.

"He has got that sort of impact in him," Lyon said.

"T-Rex (Williams) has been great for us all season and it's definitely inspiring seeing those runs come up and really doing some damage out there."