Eels coach Brad Arthur has responded to reports Sea Eagles star Marty Taupau has requested a release to join Parramatta for the remainder of the season.
The Daily Telegraph’s Dave Riccio reported Taupau has requested an immediate release from the remainder of his 2022 contract at Manly to link with the Eels before the August 1 deadline.
Taupau is on big money at Manly and the 32-year-old has not been offered a contract extension at the Sea Eagles in 2023, which is why he is looking to join their NRL rivals for the rest of 2022 and beyond.
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Taupau would bolster the Eels forward stocks for 2023 with Marata Niukore, Isaiah Papalii, Reed Mahoney, Ray Stone and Oregon Kaufusi all leaving at the end of this season, but he would also help their charge to the 2022 premiership title if he can secure an early release.
Speaking after his side’s 34-10 win over Penrith, Arthur said the ball is in Manly’s court over Taupau’s potential early release to join the Eels.
“That’s up to Manly,” Arthur said.
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Arthur was quite prickly when asked if Taupau’s potential signing would help with his forward rotations, with Junior Paulo and Reagan Campbell-Gillard required to play big minutes consistently for the Eels.
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“I think he could definitely help, but I’ve got no problem with our interchange or the players that are there,” Arthur said.
“We have got two class front-rowers like I have who get paid a lot of money, I need them on the field for as long as possible.
“That’s why they are on the field.”