IT'S difficult to confirm whether, for Jamie Buhrer, having both Anthony Watmough and Glenn Stewart alongside him is a blessing or a curse. It is probably a bit of both.
Having both Watmough and Stewart in the Manly team with him can only be good for his football education, but it also means opportunities are hard to come by.
''It's bad in a sense that I struggle to get minutes, but it's also good, being so young and having the opportunity to learn from the best,'' Buhrer said.
''They're definitely some of the best. I use that in my favour.''
Buhrer sees both players as role models for his game. ''I'd like to think me and Choc [Watmough] are similar players, with feet and leg speed,'' he said.
''He's definitely someone I've modelled my game on. He gives me a lot of confidence.
Whenever I've done something well, he's the first person to come and let me know … When I've done something bad, he's always there to help me out.
''Also Glenn Stewart has got a lot of ball-playing ability. If I can take traits from both of them, I'm well on my way to being a good player for the club.''
Buhrer, a Fibro-Silvertail cross-breed, having been brought up in Blacktown as a Manly supporter, had built a reputation of something as a supersub for the Sea Eagles, so much so that NSW coach Ricky Stuart is even considering giving him a spot on his Blues bench. However, in recent times he has also starred in the Manly starting side.
He has done so because of the absence of both Stewart and Tony Williams. Stewart has returned, while Williams will do so next week after a suspension, which means Buhrer will almost certainly return to the interchange bench.
But he hopes he has done enough to demand more time on the field.
''I'm definitely enjoying it [more minutes] and I'm making the most of the opportunities,'' he said. ''I'd like to think I'm contributing well for the team.
''I was always confident that I could play the minutes; it was just a matter of finding an opportunity to get them. We've got Tony, Anthony Watmough and Glenn Stewart, three of the best back-rowers in the comp - it's pretty hard to find minutes there. I was always confident but I suppose this reaffirms it.
''I'm hoping even with Tony back, I can get some more minutes and keep contributing to the team.''
At 22, Buhrer has already won a premiership and a City jumper. ''To have them early, it is a bit surreal,'' he said.
He might notch another with a State of Origin jumper, not that Buhrer was willing to speculate on that. ''My performances will be what pick me there,'' he said. ''If it happens, it happens.''
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/league-news/buhrer-happy-to-take-a-back-seat-to-two-of-the-best-20120510-1yfmn.html#ixzz1uV3G9ibp