NRL Rd 16 - Panthers v Eels
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 02: Tom Opacic of the Eels is seen wearing a black arm-band for the death of his brother Jakob, during the round 16 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Parramatta Eels at BlueBet Stadium on July 02, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Tom Opacic is set to become the latest Parramatta Eels player to head for the exits, and the next NRL player to make a name for himself in England.

Hovering around the fringes of a full strength Parramatta squad, Opacic has played plenty of games over the last 18 months in blue and gold.

An injury crisis saw him utilised at both centre - his preferred position - and at a pinch during games on the wing earlier this season as Brad Arthur attempted to keep 17 fit players on the park, although he never started on the wing.

Eventually, Opacic succumbed to his own injury in Round 6 against the Wests Tigers. He returned in Round 9 against the Penrith Panthers and played another four games, but hasn't been sighted since he ran for 81 metres, but missed two tackles during Round 12 against the Canberra Raiders.

News Corp are reporting that Opacic has signed a deal with Hull Kingston Rovers which will stretch for three years and be approximately worth $500,000 per year.

It had been reported previously that the Dolphins may have been keen on Opacic, however, it's unclear if the Eels at any point offered him a re-signing opportunity at any stage.

Opacic will join Isaiah Papali'i (Wests Tigers), Marata Niukore (New Zealand Warriors), Oregon Kaufusi (Cronulla Sharks), Reed Mahoney (Canterbury Bulldogs) and Ray Stone (Dolphins) as the club's sixth departure for 2023.

The Eels have however performed remarkably well on the retention market, making three signings of Josh Hodgson, J'maine Hopgood and Jirah Momoisea, as well as retaining all of Jakob Arthur, Dylan Brown, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Haze Dunster, Wiremu Greig, Clinton Gutherson , Makahesi Makatoa, Ryan Matterson, Junior Paulo, Mitch Rein, Ky Rodwell, Sean Russell and Maika Sivo from a list which originally contained 17 players on November 1.

The off-contract list now only features a handful of young players alongside Opacic and Hayze Perham.

Opacic, who played for the Broncos and Cowboys before switching to the Eels, has played 73 NRL games.

Hull KR were believed to be desperate for a new centre, with the club using Brad Takairangi there alongside Shaun Kenny-Dowall this year.

The duo is due to remain at the club next year, alongside the likes of Lachlan Coote, Matt Parcell, Albert Vete, Kane Linnett and Korbin Sims as ex-NRL players, while Ryan Hall, who made a brief appearance for the Sydney Roosters, is also at the club which is coached by Australian Tony Smith.