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“They will have to tap some players on the shoulder": Why Riccio expects a mass player exodus at Parramatta


The Parramatta Eels’ fortunes have gone from bad to worse with The Daily Telegraph’s David Riccio forecasting a massive player cleanout following the sacking of coach Brad Arthur.

The Parramatta board confirmed on Monday that Arthur’s contract had been terminated after 10 full seasons and 264 games at the helm. After a 3-7 start to the season, the Eels board in their club statement said the team had stalled under Arthur’s coaching and a change in leadership was necessary.

Riccio believes the removal of Arthur is just the tip of the iceberg for the problems that the club will face in the next 12-24 months. He believes the roster has been mismanaged across the past few seasons and is soon to reach a tipping point.

“Your entire (coaching) career depends on how your team performs,” Riccio said on SEN 1170 Breakfast.

“Just because you inherit players does not mean they are your type of players.

“There will absolutely be changes made to that roster whichever head coach comes into that club.

“Their salary cap is completely out of whack. They have way too much money tied up in the front row with Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Junior Paulo.

“The Eels have a lot of highly paid players who have impacted their ability to spread their talent across the roster and that's where they are falling short.

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“They have so much money in Mitch Moses, Dylan Brown, Clint Gutherson and their front rowers and it’s the reason why they had to go to England and get Joey Lussick to get a cheap dummy half.

“Their outside backs are constantly stop cap solutions.

“Zac Lomax, a huge marquee signing strains the salary cap even further.

“They will have to tap some players on the shoulder to clean their salary cap up no matter what the next coach will want to do.”

Assistant coach Trent Barrett will act as interim coach for the remainder of the Eels’ season.

Parramatta play the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Saturday night at Accor Stadium.

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