CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 21: Rory O'Brien of the Eels is tackled during the round 24 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Parramatta Eels at GIO Stadium on August 21, 2016 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

The Parramatta Eels have today announced the re-signing of Rory O’Brien until the end of the 2017 season.

Rory joined the Eels this season and made his debut for the Club in Round 14 of this year and has played a total of nine games for the Club so far.

Head Coach Brad Arthur said that Rory’s commitment was evident from day one of preseason and that his hard work will have well placed for the 2017 season.

“Rory has made good progress right the way through this season and I am sure that we will continue to see strong improvement to his game in 2017,” Arthur said.

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“The Club is increasing the depth of its squad which will only help build strong competition for places next season.”

Rory is the fifth re-signing this week for the Eels following the retention of Isaac De Gois, Corey Norman, Danny Wicks and Kenny Edwards. The Club also announced the signing Siosaia Vave on Sunday.



  1. Solid squad player and does the job without being fancy. Hoping the Eels sign 1 or 2 players from another team for an injection of new players and enthusiasm. Really hope one of those players is a good goal kicker, we will need one

    • Agreed and agreed.

      I think French should stay on the wing (back up FB) for another year, but I’m not sure if Gutherson should play FB or in the halves. Thoughts? Either way we should get an experienced player, not at the end of his career, for the spot not taken by Gutherson, and a good kicker.

      That leaves hooker. The De Gois / Pritchard combo is a bit too average. I think we need someone there next year.

      • Did you watch the game last night eelsalmighty?
        French’s support play was outstanding. I see a lot of similarities between him and Slater. I would have Bevan as the starting fullback next year. I would also start Gutherson at 5/8 alongside Norman.

        • We all know Bevan is good but he is still to small and gets targeted easily by the better teams. He is still learning about first grade, look at L.Mitchell…good player but you need learn the role

      • For me French should play winger one more season with regular game time at fullback. I would be tempted to keep Gutherson in halves but only 5/8 which means Norman at 7 which I’m not keen on. That means hopefully Fogarty/Cornish/Kelly (goal kicker). I’d look at trying to get Mead/Hoffman type player, I’d actually like both to cover wing and fullback. So,


        I’d put a big bid for Lolohea, Kahu or my roughy Milne from Saints for 2017/18

        • I take your point Kev, but I think he needs a bit more time.

          Footy fan, I think we’re on the same page, in that we really rate our new players coming through, but could we do Gutherson, Fogarty, Pritchard in the spine? I think they will all be our future, along with French etc. but we need to blend experience, with young talent.

        • @ eelsalmighty and footyfan2016 I see where you are both coming from but I think French is the best option for Parra at fullback. He will have size on either side of him so he will be well protected. Pretty sure Arthur has already said he has penciled French in at fullback and Gutherson at 5/8 for next season. I guess we will know come round 1 next year.

        • If we are carrying cash over to the 18 season and are happy to go with a Gutho/Norman halves combo.I’d go all in for Jason Taumololo as Beau Scott will be coming to the end of his deal in 18 and we would’nt be carrying a guy like Gower lock up Mau’u.

          The key for me is how a guy like Twal can develop if he can come through we don’t have to carry Mannah for more seasons than we have too.

          The biggest disappointment for me is a guy like Tainganoa hasn’t kicked on.He looked like a boom 2nd rower when he got his shot but has levelled off to mediocrity since such a waste.

  2. Footyfan, why do think about size and shape and skill? Wasnt Jonathan Thurston not favoured in Bulldogs because of his size and now he is the one of the worlds best rugby league player????

    Doesnt Fench and Gutherson have skills and size. I know you doubt these players but i think they played really well against the Dragons in the last game of Pirtek Stadium. There defence, attack was enormous. They support play was second to none. They played as a team, the forwards played their role by setting the platform.

    I think that should be the best team for 2017. No Major changes beacuse the coach has faith in his players which is the biggest asset. The players will give back what he has shown in them.

    Fullback -Fench
    Five-eight Gutherson
    Hooker-Degoise and Pritchard

    Still my best spine.

    • Heich. I understand your points but I don’t think you understand mine. French at fullback is different to French on wing. He has already been targeted by good teams with tall wingers and sadly he can’t match it.

      Kick returns are major part of game and French will never be able to bend a good defensive line and hence Parra sets will start on back foot which isn’t good.

      He needs another season on wing to bulk up, get some km into his legs and learn to organise a defensive line, all of which come with time.

      I think he is a great player and has plenty to offer but he needs time. Again I mention Mitchell, RTS, Turbo good players that need 1st grade experience.

      Also I don’t think Norman can play half as it doesn’t give him time on the ball and it means he needs to organise more and not play his natural game, Norman is a 6

      • Heich, I take your point, and I read the article today that Kev was referring to re BA stating French will play FB, and Gutherson at 5/8 next year. Right now, after losing Watmough, Foran, Peats, Gordon, etc. accounting for our breach of salary cap. and Norman’s pay rise we must have round $1.5 mil. for me players next year.

        I back BA big time, so if we’re running French, Gutherson as above, I can only assume he’ll be spending coin on a hooker and / or a big name forward or 2. Running French, Gutherson and Pritchard in the spine next year will be good for 2018 and beyond, but 2017 will need some very strong defenders.

        I would also like to see Taka’s back at 3, back next to Semi, and let Jennings form a bond with the other winger, who ever that may be

        • Eelsalmighty I’m with you on Jennings he’s the best defensive centre but attacking you’d hate to play outside the guy.I think he’s ok when Normans playing 6 because he realises he just has to run holes.

          The biggest issue I have him playing left centre is we have the best winger in the game and Jennings first thought is to tuck it and run instead of setting Semi up.Taka is the opposite he realises that his job is the opposite to what Jennings does and hence why Semi would be used to his fullest potential with Takarangi inside him.

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