Geoff Toovey labels report on Manly rift as 'outrageous'

JUST days after being slapped with a $10,000 fine for a post-match rant against officials in last Friday night's game against the Rabbitohs, Manly coach Geoff Toovey has taken aim at a newspaper report about an alleged rift between players.

The report suggested tensions between half-back Daly Cherry-Evans and teammates Glenn and Brett Stewart had reached the point where it had become a board issue.

But responding on the club's website, Toovey said the players concerned had trained strongly together yesterday and were "chatting and laughing together" at a private member's function on Wednesday night.

"There will always be speculation around players' long-term futures, especially at this time of the season," Toovey wrote. "But to suggest there's any dissension in playing ranks is outrageous and very wrong."

The issue reportedly centres around the fact that talks to extend Cherry-Evans' contract, which is due to expire at the end of 2015, have stalled because of the strained relationship.

Glenn Stewart added: "I know everyone in this squad has great respect and appreciation for the role everyone plays and, while our competitive spirit never subsides, to suggest there's any falling out is ludicrous".