Posted: 30 October, 2014
The club welcomes Anthony Watmough, Reece Robinson, Brad Takairangi, Danny Wicks and Richie Fa’aoso tomorrow
As we revealed earlier this year, Anthony Watmough will wear the blue and gold in 2015 as one of five new signings for the Eels.
The 31-year-old has joined Parramatta on a four-year deal.
Choc In The Blue & Gold
Speaking for the first time since signing with the Parramatta Eels, Watmough said the tipping point was having a fresh start.
"I'd rather my family be happy and me be happy at another club than be miserable for another three years."
This comes after lengthy speculation he wanted out of his Manly contract. Listen to the full audio below.
Anthony Watmough Press Conference
Eels Official Statement
The Parramatta Eels are pleased to announce the signing of five new players to the club, ahead of training commencing for the 2015 season.
The club will welcome Anthony Watmough, Reece Robinson, Brad Takairangi, Danny Wicks and Richie Fa’aoso tomorrow when the pre-season gets underway.
“It’s exciting news for the club to be attracting the kind of talent that we have, and it clearly shows our intention to bring sustainable, long-term success to the Eels as we continue transforming the club,” Eels CEO Scott Seward said.
“I am confident in Brad Arthur’s ability to create a playing roster that will to be able to challenge for premierships in the many years to come.”
The 31-year-old Anthony Watmough has played 14 games for NSW and 16 Tests for Australia, and joins the Eels on a four-year deal after being granted an early release from the Manly Sea Eagles.
“Anthony is a world-class, premiership-winning player who will further bolster our forward pack for the next few seasons,” Head Coach Brad Arthur said.
“He’s played almost 300 NRL games, and along with that experience he’ll bring outstanding leadership qualities that will help grow our young talent.”
“Leaving Manly is the toughest thing I've done in my professional life, and I want to thank all those who have helped me along the way,” Watmough said.
“There are many supporters that I have met on my journey thus far who I now call friends and I would like to thank them for their loyal support of me and my family Elle, Claudia & Jake. I can't wait for the challenge that lies ahead.”
The 25-year-old Brad Takairangi comes to the Eels as a utility player, having previously played 68 first grade games for the Gold Coast Titans and the Sydney Roosters, and will be with the side for the 2015 season.
Outside back Reece Robinson, 27, has played 96 NRL games for the Canberra Raiders and Brisbane Broncos after making his debut at the Queensland club in 2008 and will join the club on a one year deal.
28-year-old forward Danny Wicks, who has played for both the Newcastle Knights and St George-Illawarra Dragons, will join the club on a one-year deal, subject to discussions with the NRL on his registration and any conditions that may apply.
“This is the opportunity that I needed and that I want, and I’m going to give the Parramatta club, Members and fans the best of what I’ve got,” Wicks said.
“This might only be my second chance, but I know it’s my last, and I’m keen to make something of it.”
“It wasn’t a hasty decision to sign Danny to the club, but after meeting with him I am confident he has turned his life around and will bring great value to our team,” Seward said.
Former Sea Eagle Richard Fa’aoso, 30, who was forced into early retirement in 2013 after a neck injury, has passed initial medical clearances and will be part of the Eels’ side in 2015.
Fa’aoso’s return to the game is also subject to continuing discussions with the NRL and any conditions that may apply.
The club has today also announced the re-signing of 26-year-old utility player Joseph Paulo for a two-year extension.
"All of these players bring great talent to the game and show dedication and hard work in their training,” Arthur said.
“I look forward to seeing our team take shape for the 2015 season.”