Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has declared that Will Smith is the favourite to secure the No.14 jersey for the Eels in 2018.

The versatile 25-year old is set to be the Eel’s golden utility, capable of playing in any position of their spine.

Smith burst onto the scene in 2017 for the Blue & Golds after multiple injuries plagued Parramatta’s back-line.

Appearing on fifteen occasions this year, Smith almost led the Eels to their maiden preliminary final this decade.

Planning ahead of the new year, Arthur is determined to try and find a place for Smith in his 17.

“Will was outstanding for us last year,” Arthur told

“He’s always leading the way at training and showed just how versatile he can be.

“I’m comfortable with him as a starting player but he’s also a genuine option for us as our utility on the bench.

“We’ll get to have a good look at him over the next couple of months but he is doing all the right things.”


  1. Posting here as comments are closed from the “Johnathan Thurston wins Human Rights Medal”

    penso December 9, 2017 at 8:12 pm
    “SSTID, coming from my neck of the woods, let me tell you Thurston did nothing wrong… the players basically told her to go away and when she got back to her car with her friend she cried foul… the bottom line is those Canterbury guy’s didn’t do anything wrong, all of Coffs harbour know this… there was no cover up here or any smooth over, this girl had a reputation… trust me the Canterbury guys got stitched up big time from the media.”

    I WAS WRONG! I am not above admitting if I am wrong and on this occasion it appears that I got it wrong BIG time inferring any wrong doing by Jonathan Thurston in an incident reported at Coffs Harbour in Februrary 2004. No proof necessary penso, I believe you and know that you have local knowledge and are well respected on the North Coast.

    Under the circumstances then it is disappointing the Bulldogs management did not stick by Thurston and cut him loose to distance themselves from any scandal. Given Jonathan Thurston’s record on and off the field his Human Rights Medal was well deserved and I unreservedly retract my comments, removing foot from mouth, wiping egg off face and digging a hle for me to hide in. I’ll stand in the corner now and put myself in the bin for a bit (unless news of the Crichton story breaks in the meantime). 🙁

    • @SSTID, it takes a big man to acknowledge they made a mistake, I respect that. Hence I stand by my comments made about JT, the guy is a legend and deservedly so.

    • Yeah the Thurston thing got taken out pretty quickly at the time, cause the media had nothing and Thurston admitted he did sleep with a girl but he was single , the other girl , well she was a shocker but the media were relentless they wanted blood, and sold heaps of papers at the time, couldn’t believe they closed the comments straight after my posting, hope they don’t do it again.

      • It was the first time I have admitted being wrong penso. ZT probably wanted to avoid having their website crash from a DoS flood of ZT contributors all posting at the same time to smack me down. I’m quite touched by their concern actually. Bahahahahahaha 😂

  2. Official…. Souths and manly agree to immediate player swap with Angus Crichton and Lewis brown… with Souths chipping in with Crichton salary

    • Doing a George Burgess and tossing a half empty water bottle from the sideline to hit a cheeky seagull “DONK!” on the head. Rat’s with wings! There should be a culling. Keep that up and Souths will take back Dylan Walker, Apisai Koroisau and Addin Fonua-Blake. NOW I’m off to the bin for a bit… DON’T start me crowy! DON’T start me! 😉

      • At least South Sydney are more “manly” than Manly! Manicured, manscaped, body waxed lot that they are, more metrosexual than manly. 😉

  3. And back to the article.

    I like Smith, rate him, understand his versatility / impact in short periods on the field etc. but if we’ve got a fully fit side I’m struggling to fit him in, even on the bench. If we do, the way I see it, we’d need to leave Taka’s and/or Scott out of the 17, and I don’t think we’d do that.

    I won’t do a team list, as I know most people hate them, and there are a couple of variations, the way I see it, anyway, so to the Parra fans below is a link to “creating our team”. It’s actually pretty useful for seeing the big picture. It also shows the most popular line up, and for for non Parra supporters, you can do the same for your team.

    The problem I have is, assuming Hayne takes Taka’s spot:
    Then if Taka’s goes to 12, we couldn’t run Smith and Scott off the bench.
    If Taka’s goes to 14, we can’t run Smith off the bench too.

    If Hayne goes to the wing, or FB (and I’m expecting this), leaving Taka’s in the centre, then similar to the above, we can’t run Scott and Smith off the bench.

    Bottomline, we have a lot of depth, and a lot of young guys that need, and deserve game time, so without injuries we have no choice but to leave quality players out of the 17, unless we can swap a couple for a gun. That said, it’s a pretty short / very short list of players that I’d be prepared to swap.

    • I agree 100%. As much as I like Smith and as good as he was for us at the end of this season, I just can’t fit him into the 17. A concern I have though is Cameron King is a bit injury prone, so having a back up is good. But I think it is better to run the risk, especially considering we don’t have a big pack, so I like the idea of 4 forwards on the bench.

      Interested to know who misses out in your team from Ma’u, Moeroa, Brown, Scott, Edwards, Taka. Assuming Hayne takes Taka’s spot in the centres and we carry 2 props on the bench, that leaves room for 5 back rowers. For mine, the first 3 a re locked in to start, so either Scott, Taka or Edwards misses out.

      • Surely Scott is just in consideration because of last achievements now. Surely taka HD good utility value and edwards while a clear noob, offers something and brings things other players don’t,

        • I agree crowy. Although Scott will do the dirty work if needed and is much less prone to error than the other 2. But overall Taka and Edwards probably offer more.

        • It’s a tough 1, mainly because I think we need a third bench player capable of running in the middle (2 dedicated props, plus a “dual role” forward, just in case of an early injury, and given we don’t have the biggest forward pack). Edwards can do this, whereas Scott and Taka’s can’t, but Taka’s offers all round versatility, so Scott would miss out if we play the “safest” option.
          That said, we have a young squad and Scott has shown he can steady the ship, across the board, very quickly when the young guys start to lose focus / get flustered, and I’m starting to cringe when Edwards gets the ball in a tight game/situation (will he do something dumb?)
          So I’m still not sure who we play where, including whether we play Hayne at centre or on the wing. I know centre is most likely, and probably the right choice, but I think Hayne running next to Taka’s could work too.

      • Its a tricky one – his efforts last season and in training so far this year has him in BA’s good books, and we know BA is loyal to those who do what he asks of them.
        I’m also not convinced Taka will miss out on a spot in the backs.
        It may be a horse for course situation in 2018 – depending on the opposition as what the bench makeup is.
        I feel that the starting backrow will be Moeroa, Mau and Brown.
        For me, the ones that are locked in are Edwards (clearly a BA fave and one who lifts the tempo when he comes on and can break a game open when he just plays footy), and most likely Evans.
        That leaves these guys fighting for the last two spots – Alvaro, Terepo, Vave,, Scott, Auvuaa, K Pritchard and Smith.
        I’m thinking Vave will most out more often than not and end up playing with Wenty predominantly.
        Scott may have his workload managed and may only play 2 out of 3 games.
        Pritchard will only get game time if King is out.
        Which really only leaves Terepo, Alvaro and Smith realistically in my view.

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