SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 22: Michael Jennings of the Eels breaks away to score a try during the round 6 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and Wests Tigers at Bankwest Stadium on April 22, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Former NSW and Kangaroos centre Michael Jennings is expected to sign a new two-year deal with Parramatta as early as Monday.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Jennings will agree to a one-year contract with an option for 2021.

The 31-year-old arrived at Parramatta in 2016 after stints with Sydney Roosters — where he was key cog in their 2013 premiership — and Penrith.

His current contract at Parramatta, which was worth around $800,000 a season, expired this year. He is expected to take a pay cut to remain.

Jennings experienced a modest 2018 season and was on the verge of being told to look elsewhere by Eels club officials.

But a stellar 2019 reinvigorated Jennings with the ex-Kangaroos centre now ready to remain at Bankwest Stadium for another two seasons.

Earlier this year, Jennings indicated a strong desire to remain at Parramatta.

“I want to keep playing, for sure. I definitely want to stay here at Parramatta and keep going. I want to play more footy,” Jennings said to The Daily Telegraph.

“I’m just grateful that I’m still playing league — rugby league has given me a lot in my life. I’m grateful to be here and playing footy.

“My body is still in good nick. I’m still quick and, touch wood, haven’t had many serious injuries. I’m still fit — I’ve got a couple more years in me.”

Parramatta faces a challenge after next season with a host of star players ending current deals, including Dyan Brown, Nathan Brown, Shaun Lane, Reed Mahoney and Brad Takairangi. Ethan Parry will also be out of contract at the end of the 2020 season.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Never thought I would see the day when players would take a pay cut to stay at Parra instead of demanding more money.

    In all honesty I would throw the money at Semi instead.

  2. It’s a tough one Kev. As much as I would like to see Semi back, where does he fit? Sivo and Fergo are the wingers, and we tried moving Fergo to centre without success. Semi played centre in rugby, but I am not sure about league. If he was to take Jennings spot, that puts him with Sivo. Whilst that is a mouthwatering partnership attack wise, they would get eaten up in defence, not forgetting that Dylan Brown also plays on that side. Jennings did a great job in guiding Brown and Sivo in defence. The other option is fullback and move Gutho to centre, but can Semi be an organiser from the back? Can he chime into the backline and create for his centres and wingers? How often will he be caught out of position? There are a lot of questions that pose risks in bringing him back with the current line up we have.

  3. Agree with both of you Kev and eels, fergo has been a good centre when younger, maybe he needs more than the one game back there and the off season to make it a success again? Imagine Sivo and semi on either wing. I’m guessing The reason why Jennings after months of negotiating, is now so quick to sign on?

  4. Yeah, hadn’t thought of that option. I don’t recall seeing Fergo at fullback, but he might be able to make the transition.

  5. Mixed feelings tbh, happy he is staying but would-be happier if he didn’t. The consistency he was renowned for just isn’t there but his defense helps that side of field and we really need it.

    Pay cut is great but honestly hope we haven’t paid more than $400k. Hopefully Jennings helps guys like Parry come through

  6. FootyFan2016 I imagine that is why he has been re-signed. Parry is not quite there yet, partcularly given the general youth and/or inexperience in the backline. Jennings should be able to help bring Parry along, but also keep working with Sivo and Brown as they learn to work together in defence. I am happy he is staying, as long as we don’t see another 2018 again obviously.

  7. Good to hear you again Eels.
    As much as I’d like to see Semi back, it’s not the right time, and we can’t afford him without moving a good-very goodman player on.
    I’m happy with our 1-7 (incl. Jennings) so I’d like to see us stick with it (unless we have a serious issue) because I think they’ll get even better (together).
    I think we could use a back up hooker, and that’s about it.
    I’m interested in people’s thoughts on BA. 2018 had a lot Eels supporters change their opinions on him, so was 2019 enough to get the confidence back?
    I think he’s a great coach, and continued to believe that through 2018. I think he can get, even keep a team in the top 4, but I’m just not sure he can match it with the best at the very pointy end of season.

  8. Mighty. 2018 was disappointing but we need to remember we played with no home ground which is huge for Parra and George Jennings/French just did not offer much coming off the 20 compared to Fergo and Sivo . Yes players dropped form but most teams occasionally do.

    In saying that BA IMO has 1 or 2yrs left to deliver. Great what he has instilled into the team / club but teams need to win comps.

  9. I tend to agree with footyfan on the BA thing Almighty. BA survived 2018 because of how he held the club together during the cap scandal, and yes had a much better 2019. But a lot of that was to do with Fergo and Sivo. BA does deserve credit for bringing them into the team, but not all of it. 2020 and 2021 needs to not only have consistent finals appearance, but further improvement, and at least challenging for a GF spot. It isn’t good enough to just get there and make up the numbers, we need to be a real chance at actually winning it.

    I am still skeptical on his coaching, and need to see sustained success, not just 1 year in the finals and then out again, before I change my mind.

  10. Parra have a team now capable of making the Grand final. If they do not reach the GF I will be very surprised in fact if Parra miss a grand final birth in 2020 I would say they had a failed season.

    Ferguson is a winger only. At the Sydney Roosters we played him in the centres and fullback with poor results before settling on his best position as a winger.

    A goog fullback needs plenty of speed and a great passing game

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