Brian Kelly of the Eagles is tackled by Ligi Sao of the Warriors in round 17.
Brian Kelly of the Eagles is tackled by Ligi Sao of the Warriors in round 17. RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

Sea Eagles back in returning centre Kelly

MANLY'S Dylan Walker has backed fellow centre Brian Kelly to make an impact when he returns to the Sea Eagles' starting side tomorrow against Canterbury.

Kelly was demoted two weeks ago for Brad Parker, but is back in favour for the clash at ANZ Stadium after Parker suffered a serious knee injury last week.

"He might've felt down but he didn't show it," Walker said. "Brian is a cruisy sort of kid. He's real laid-back and nothing fazes him.

"We spoke a lot during the pre-season because he is just a kid that wants to learn. I've been trying to give him as much knowledge as I can."

After crossing from the Gold Coast, Kelly made his debut in round one to replace retired centre Steve Matai.

He scored four tries in his first four games, before his form fell away.

"It's pretty massive for being a first-year player coming in and debuting in the first round and playing 20-odd games," Walker said.

"He probably needed a bit of a rest just to relax a little bit and to come back in.

"He played really well on the weekend for NSW Cup. He's a classy player, he's got all the skills in the world."

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