Andrew Johns Criticizes Josh Schuster’s Condition As Manly Sea Eagles Season Balances

Josh Schuster has been a popular candidate by many to make the leap to NRL superstardom in 2022 – but the young Manly gun has failed to launch after breaking through in 2021.

After playing one game in 2020, Schuster was a key cog in the Manly machine in their flight to a preliminary final last season, with many highlights along the way.

The 20-year-old was one of seven players to miss last week’s game due to an objection to wearing the Pride jersey, but while others have returned to the fold, Schuster was only made 18th man by Des Hasler for the must-have. win from Friday night clash against Parramatta.

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Attitude and application were Schuster’s enemy in 2022, and Andrew Johns said it bluntly.

“He’s not fit – he’s too big,” Johns told Wide World of Sports’ Freddy and the Eighth.

“I think if you sat down Josh, he’d admit he’s too big. He came back from the off-season, put on a lot of pounds in every way.”

Johns has been a huge fan of Schuster in the past, even going so far as to call him an 18th man in a hypothetical Origin side last year.

But this isn’t the first time in 2022 that the Newcastle legend has spoken out about Schuster’s fitness and expressed similar concerns in May.

NSW coach Brad Fittler was momentarily perplexed about the rear rower’s condition.

“Getting fit is the easy part,” Fittler added.

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“Especially now — you’re working out six hours a day.”

Schuster had been touted as the successor to Kieran Foran in the No. 6 jersey at Brookvale, with the veteran heading to the Gold Coast next year.

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But Johns insists Schuster must be careful about his future, both on and off the field, if he is to reach his full potential.

“Being a pro doesn’t mean you’re a pro in training — it’s life,” Johns said.

“What you eat, what you don’t eat, what you drink, what you don’t drink — get your sleep, get your life in order. Treat your body right, treat your injuries.”

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