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11 names in mass Eels clean out

Parramatta has said goodbye to 11 names from its senior squad as part of a major clean out following the club’s disastrous straight-sets finals exit.While plenty of fingers were pointed at top Eels talent Mitchel Moses following the club’s loss to South Sydney, the Eels major changes surround the other end of the talent spectrum…

Parramatta has said goodbye to 11 names from its senior squad as part of a major clean out following the club’s disastrous straight-sets finals exit.

While plenty of fingers were pointed at top Eels talent Mitchel Moses following the club’s loss to South Sydney, the Eels major changes surround the other end of the talent spectrum with significant changes coming in 2021.

The Eels had already announced the club was resigned to losing prop Kane Evans to the Warriors and Jai Field to Wigan in the Super League and has now confirmed 11 players won’t be returning when pre-season training begins.

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Utility Brad Takairangi is among the established players who have been cut by the team without a new club for next year.

Takairangi played in the Eels’ loss to Souths as a replacement for Blake Ferguson, but fell out of favour in the second half of the year and missed selection from Round 12 to Round 20.

Promising speedster Jaeman Salmon has also failed to win a contract for 2021 and is looking for a new home.

The list of players released by the Eels will be even longer with other players, including George Jennings and Will Smith still yet to sign beyond the 2020 season.

Forward Peni Terepo and hooker Rhys Davies have been released and now face an uncertain future, while veteran forward David Gower has retired to take up a job in the Eels football department.

The club previously announced Stefano Utiokamanu will join Wests Tigers in 2021 and Andrew Davey will join Manly.

Development players Watson Heleta and Kyle Schneider have also been released.

“All players within the bubble have had to follow the strict NRL protocols to ensure the game continued this year,” Eels general manager Mark O’Neill said.

“Irrespective of whether the players were selected in the 17 each week, they have all contributed to our success.

“We are most grateful for the sacrifices our players have made and would like to offer our sincere thanks to each and every member of our squad.”

Meanwhile, Fox League NRL 360 host Paul Kent blasted the Eels for allowing Moses’ shock missed penalty to completely throw them off their game against the Rabbitohs.

He said Moses’ loss of confidence spread throughout the entire team.

“I think that missed penalty is symbolic of Parramatta’s season,” Kent said on Triple M.

“What I mean by that is there is an ignorance of the one percenters in the game. Those little things that you just have to cross your T’s and dot your I’s.

“To not have anybody there who can chase a ricochet off a goal post. I know he could have tossed it over from where he was, but the fact that Parramatta had nobody there is just symbolic of the way things are going at Parramatta.

Parramatta’s unwanted 11: Brad Takairangi, Jaeman Salmon, Rhys Davies, David Gower, Peni Terepo, Jai Field, Kane Evans, Stefano Utiokamanu, Andrew Davey, Watson Heleta, Kyle Schneider

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