Hailed a local hero, blue and gold faithful cherished the presence of Semi Radradra at their football club.
After Radradra signed with French Rugby last year, Eels fans were left devastated.
Radradra’s move to France was seen as a ‘short stint’ though, with Parramatta fans convinced that the flying Fijian would return mid-season this year.
Radrada’s success in union could not be undermined, with his highlights reel a hit on social media. Parramatta fans were ecstatic, seeing their favourite son only getting better.
However today, things took a dramatic turn for the worse.
Radradra signed a monster two-year contract with French Rugby first-division club Bordeaux in Europe.
His unfortunate absence from the game will not only disappoint Parramatta but Rugby League fans as a whole.
Parramatta Eels CEO Bernie Gurr insists that Semi’s deal was too good to refuse and that he can’t blame him for accepting it.
“Quite frankly, with the money on offer over there and the fact he had a one-year deal and a one-year option with Toulon, we expected him to take up that option with Toulon,” Gurr told Fairfax Media.
“So the money he must have been offered not to take it up and go to Bordeaux must have been outrageous.
“The salary cap is a necessity in the NRL. We can’t let the odd player here or there dictate changes in the salary cap rules; it would be shortsighted and not prudent.
“As much as we would love to welcome him back — and who knows, maybe Semi may eventually come back — it’s totally understandable what he is doing.”
With Semi Radradra out of the picture, Bevan French is tipped to replace Radradra on the wing.
Parramatta still has a handful of options, including Kirisome Auva’a, Josh Hoffman, Will Smith, George Jennings and Greg Leleisiuao all in contention.