SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 01: Semi Radradra in action during a Parramatta Eels training session at the Eels Training Centre on July 1, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Semi Radradra’s manager confirms future

Parramatta flyer Semi Radradra will bid au revoir to the NRL at the end of this season after agreeing to a two-year $1.5 million deal to join French rugby union club Toulon.

The club confirmed the star winger would leave the club at the end of season in a statement, suggesting that the offer made French club was substantially higher than the offe rmade by the Eels.

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Read the statement from the Parramatta Eels below:

The Parramatta Eels Rugby League Club have been advised by George Christodoulou, the manager of Semi Radradra, that Semi has accepted an offer to play rugby union for the Toulon Rugby Club for the 2017/2018 European rugby season, with an option for a second year being the 2018/2019 season. This option for the second season is in favour of Semi Radradra. The European rugby season operates from approximately August thru May.

Semi has a court appearance on 13 February 2017. As advised previously to Semi and his manager, Semi will fulfil his 2017 Playing Contract with the Parramatta Eels as the Club will not release Semi from his 2017 obligations to our Club; accordingly, the earliest Semi could commence at Toulon is early November 2017.

In early December 2016 the Parramatta Eels indicated our wish to keep Semi at our Club by making a very attractive offer to Semi for the 2017 (upgrade of existing contract), 2018 & 2019 NRL seasons.

The offer from Toulon was substantially higher than our Club’s offer. We look forward to Semi being a most productive member of the 2017 Parramatta Eels playing squad and then we wish Semi well in his rugby union venture with Toulon.

81 COMMENTS

  1. Is this guy getting suspended for beating his woman? didnt like him but he’s a good player parra fans will miss him

  2. Well, under the circumstances if we’re going to hold him to his contract (knowing he’s gone at the end of the year), I can only assume we (the club) are very confident he is innocent. Even still, I think if he wants to go, just let him go.

    This time last year I would have sworn Semi was near on a saint. I’m not assuming he is guilty, and hope he didn’t abuse his wife (obviously), but as great a player as he is, he’s not the man I thought he was.

  3. Yep, who cares. I honestly don’t think any winger should be paid more than 200k no matter how good they are when the job is so simple. Parra will struggle without him though, he is the main attacker in the team. 2014 and 2015 and 2016 was basically pass the ball to semi.

    • “No winger is worth more than $200k”, and I believe Bennett once said, “no forward is worth more than $400k”, so it’s little wonder Manly spent $1.3mil on DCE, what else would you do with the salary cap?

      Holmsey, I think you’re a bit off the mark buddy.

      • Holmsey, as for Semi being our main attacking weapon, I agree, he has been, although not as much in 2016. He’ll be missed, big time, but if he’s getting $750k a year in France I’m glad we didn’t try to match it.

        • Yep. Others stepped up in 2016. And I am also glad that we didn’t try to match the offer from France. Seems the club is finally learning from past mistakes.

      • DCE is a main player of the team. He is not easily replaced as a winger would. DCE warrants more money than that of other players due to his position and experience. Majority of winger are only good and fast during their early to mid 20s. And also on you guys being happy semis gone I would be too. More money to spend on a halfback for the eels.

  4. Honestly if I was B.A. I’d realease him now, no point keeping a player that will not be at the club next year before the season even starts. Build around it!!! Yeah our backs won’t be as strong missing Semi but we still have some very deadly Combos.

    (I know this isn’t popular, I love Takairangi but Auva’a is just a simply better Centre)

    1. Bevan French
    2. Josh Hoffman
    3. Michael Jennings
    4. Kirisome Auva’a
    5. Clint Gutherson
    6. Corey Norman
    7. Jeff Robson

    And this is why the International game will never grow. NRL should scrap salary caps and allow people to purchase NRL clubs on a contract committing to them, To make a level playing field. Just look at what Fiji could have potentially heading into the World Cup this year!!!!

    1. Jarryd Hayne (NFL Recovery)
    2. Semi Radradra (Rugby Union)
    3. Sisa Waqa (Rugby Union)
    4. Kevin Naqima
    5. Marika Korobete (Rugby Union)
    6. John Sutton
    7. Wes Naqima (Super League)
    8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard
    9. Api Korisou
    10. Kane Evans
    11. Tariq Sims
    12. Korbin Sims
    13. Ashton Sims (Super League)
    ———————————————–
    14. Jason Bakuya
    15. Jacob Safiti
    16. Eloni Vunakecee
    17. Daniel Safiti

    Players will not get better being in second rate competition and the international game is getting boring with superstars leaving due to lack of finances! Don’t get me wrong I love seeing Australia win, everyone loves winning but is it really winning if there’s no competition?

    • I don’t like the idea of Norman and Gunther son as the halves, but Gutho can’t be wasted on the wing, he showed that last season. He should be fullback and French on the wing. Them over the next season or two they can both build towards moving positions.

    • Scorin, that was the lineup I was going with, EXCEPT Taka’s at 4 over Auva’a. If we don’t / can’t run Semi, it may actually be a blessing in disguise, from a medium / long term perspective. I was / am a bit uncomfortable with running French, Gutho, Pritcahrd in the spine this year. They will all get their opportunities to play their new / preferred positions through injuries etc. but let’s trickle some of it in (as and where needed).

    • Mate you have no clue, takarangi will not play nsw cup get it into your thick head, plus Wes naquama was a centre/fill in fullback and is retired so I don’t think he will be playing for Fiji

      • exactly – Taka is one of first chosen when fit, Auvua WILL not play unless either Taka or Jennings are injured.
        For eels fans, head over to thecumberlandthrow.com and check out reports from training – it will be come obvious to all from those reports that first team will be :
        French
        Semi
        Jennings
        Taka
        Hoffman
        Gutho
        Normz
        Brown/Matagi
        IDG/K Pritchard
        Mannah
        Mau
        Moeroa
        Scott

        Semi will be 1st choice kicker, followed by Gutho, Normz.
        Also, those who doubt Gutho’s ability in the halves will see that he is absolutely braining it – outshining Normz in every aspect of – fitness, running, kicking, passing etc. – those reports make me excited for the upcoming season.
        As far as Semi’s departure goes, if he is found not guilty or guilty but without further charge, then he should play out the season and I would be fairly confident that when he is on the park, he will give his all, like he did last year after all the dramas surrounding him.
        And Holmesy, the days of a winger only being worth 200k are long, even reserve bench players are making that kind of coin. Wingers these days are more than just guys who hang out like footballers, they are generally your leading metre eater, prime attacking weapons and your second last line of defence.
        I know you are young, but you probably don’t recall the days where fullbacks were in the same category as wingers were, but now they are generally your second most important and second highest paid player in the team. Wingers like Semi, Vatuvei, Vunivulu, Holmes, Oates, Ferguson etc are highly valuable commodities and make significant contributions to a teams success (or lack of failure) and thus should be compensated for it.
        I am also glad Parra didn’t break the bank and try to match Toulons offer of 1mill per season – some common sense seems to have arrived at the office in the form of Bernie Gurr.

        • I am not doubting Gutho’s ability in the halves, he proved last year that he has good skills. My issue is more with French at fullback at the moment, as I don’t think he is ready yet, and the fact that we have 2 running halves, with no one to actually run the team. Norman plays his best when he doesn’t have the responsibility of running the team around the park, and I don’t know if Gutho can be that player either just yet. Time will tell though, and I hope that I am wrong on this.

        • I take your point, but can you say any young player that comes into grade is actually “ready” for it?
          How do you get “ready” for it? If you’re good enough, you play in the top grade and learn and IMHO French is good enough to learn. Time will tell though.
          Ill also ask the question – do you weaken two positions to strengthen one?

        • billy

          “Auvua WILL not play” as opposed to “Auvua will NOT play”. For a moment there I thought you had changed your mind about Taka at first glance. I fell for the dummy! LOL

  5. Has been great for the Eels on the field, but not off it. Not just the pending court case, but the constant speculation over his future. I am glad this has come out now and we don’t have another season of it.

    Also, I get what everyone is saying about letting him go now, but why should they. Assuming he is innocent, the best play is to keep him as he is still the best attacking weapon in the club, as long as he is performing that is. It is BA’s job to get the team winning games and if Semi will help with that them they should keep him for this year.

    • Eels47, I see your point, and don’t necessary disagree, but looking at the flip side, after all the dramas of 2016, the biggest win we had (in my opinion) was the boys stood up (really stood up). With all the dramas, they gave 100%, and with all the re-signings, we have a real “team”. If someone doesn’t want to be a part of it, we should let them go.

      • I do agree with that, but I still think you always take the field with the best possible team. At this stage Semi is still in that category.

      • yea gutterson should be fullback not french he’s to small and gutherson is a real talent I was spewing when we let him go but we had too many backs and not enough forwards and funnily enough last year we could of used him

        • Gutherson will be my smokey for NSW this year. He is outstanding. But I don’t think he will fit in with Parra or Manly. I agree, he is a fullback, but Parra shouldn’t make French sit out. He has to play and learn to defend, French will be one of the best Fullbacks in his generation (I feel like him and Trbojevic will be like Slater and Stewart, with Mitchell playing the Inglis role). Gunther son should look at maybe going to the Bulldogs or Canberra.

        • holmsey, Which people? Manly supporters? He is his own player and has his own style that I think in years to come will be good enough to hold down FB for NSW and after that probably for Australia. I’d be content with that. IMO he is no Inglis or Slater.

  6. Go Semi , everyone went nuts when some here suggested he ain’t worth it , no one debated his talent , but to bad

  7. You have to play this bloke if he can play, forget about the future – with someone like him – you make an exception. By far, he averages the most metres gained of any player in the team in 2016 – that’s difficult/almost impossible to replace. He will be seriously missed. Although Bevan French can score tries – he doesn’t have the physical attributes of Semi and made less than half those average metres. Semi was a standout.

    So much talent. Such a shame.

    Hopefully he takes the field but if found guilty you’d have to think we won’t see him again. Maybe he knows and that’s why the manager announced today….? Why else would you drop this bomb now….?

  8. Good glad he’s gone. And in other news….

    WHAT THE MOTHER F@$&ING HELL IS PENRITH DOING TRYING TO SIGN BEN HUNT?!?!? WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU DO THAT???? THEY HAVE NATHAN CLEARY AND TE MAIRE MARTIN, WHAT EXACTLY IS BEN HUNT GOING TO DO THERE?!?!? IT ISNT THE DRAGONS OR EELS WHO ARE FAVOURITES TO SIGN HIM, YOU KNOW 2 TEAMS THAT COULD ACTUALLY USE HIM, ITS THE F$&@ING PANTHERS!!! WHY PENRITH, WHY? DON’T MAKE THE GROWTH OF YOUR JUNIORS STUTTER BY SIGNING HIM.

    Rant over (and I’m not even a Panthers fan, for whatever reason this has me triggered, so sorry guys).

    • Surely that is just some sort of media speculation. As much as I don’t like the Panthers all of their recent decisions have put them in a good spot to be a force for the next 5 years. Ben Hunt does not add to this, he just gets in the way of juniors. As you mention they already have a good young halves pairing, as well as Moylen, who will end up in the halves. This makes no sense at all.

    • trollz, do you want me to lend you my baseball and glove for your trip to the cooler? (queue theme music for “The Great Escape”) dut da, da da da dut da…

      Colonel Clink: Schultz!!!
      Sergeant Schultz: I know nothink! Noooothink! Pleeeeease Trooollz. You are making the colonel mad and when he gets angry he shouts and I drop my strudel!

      We now return you to your normal programming…

        • But you, st47, and the rest of the gang from our generation get it so it was worth it! It tied in with the previous theme “The Great Escape” which again would have been lost on trollz and holmsey but it was very apt all things considered, Capt. Virgil Hilts, the “Cooler King” was the perfect metaphor don’t you think?

    • I don’t know why any club would want Ben Hunt. He’s a choke and is overrated horribly. 1 good year and he is suddenly the next johns? Give me a break… The one year wonder strikes again.

      • Holmesy, Don’t get me wrong as I have been saying for a while that he just needs some support, but your argument could also be said about DCE could it not.

        And no one is comparing Hunt to Johns, but Hunt us still a good quality halfback, who needs a dominating pack to lay the groundwork for him. He and Milford just lacked some confidence in 2016. They will both be back and show why they were being thrown around as future Queensland players.

        • IMO Milford needs to be freed up to attack from both sides of the field without the pressure of organising the backline (FB), don’t forget he was a great FB before Bennett forced him to play 5/8 so his “son” Boyd could play in his preferred position of FB. Boyd needs to lead and organise the team and run the ball at (or off) first receiver (5/8). I know it won’t happen but it is what I believe is the Broncos best option to turn things around.

        • I understand your opinion SSTID, but I still think Boyd is a better fullback than Milford. Fullback is more that just kick returns and attack. Boyd has become a leader in the team and is a good talker. That is needed in defence. I think Milford needs the ball in his hands more than he will at fullback, the onus will just be on Hunt to run the team and let Milford do his thing.

        • I agree eels47, FB IS more that just kick returns and attack. I understand fully the role Boyd currently plays to steady the ship and provide security and dependability at the back and also helping to guide and control the defensive line in front of him BUT… the question is would moving Milford to FB be worth the pain to change the status quo. I think it would.

          Milford was one of the better performing FBs in the game while at the Raiders and along with Barba, Slater and snake was one of the most exciting attacking FBs during that period.

          The only unknown in this case is whether Boyd could transition to 5/8 like Darren Lockyer before him. Remember, Lockyer played much the same role for the Broncos when playing at FB and when he moved closer to the action was able to steer and direct the Broncos attack in a way he could not have done from 30 metres behind play. Boyd simply needs to be more involved and get his hands on the ball more. Defensively there should be no doubts that he could handle the move to 5/8. I think Boyd can have more influence over a game and his team playing at 5/8 in a way Milford seems as yet incapable of doing. When Milford was on fire back in 2015 it was more because of his ball running and less due to his ability to organise the attack and create opportunities for outside supports through passes or kicks as opposed to taking the line on. Just my opinion, no doubt others may disagree. But just think about how Boyd has shown his versatility and ability to adapt time and again in changing between FB, wing and centre at all levels of the game. In any case my argument is only academic as I know this will never happen.

        • All fair points SSTID. I can see both scenarios potentially working in the Broncos favour, and I understand the thoughts behind the need for a shake up. I am interested to know what some Broncos opinions are though.

        • That’s the point I’m making eels47, the current scenario is not working (at least for most of 2016) and it didn’t get them over the line in 2015. All teams when they are peaking only have a limited window or opportunity to take advantage of their good form. In my view a shake up is required if the Broncos were going to go up a gear in 2017 otherwise the prevailing opinion is that they will go backwards. I would be particularly interested in the thoughts of tommyknocker and danford if they have any thoughts one way or another.

        • 2015 was JT’s year, the Broncos were never winning that game, even if they did get within a whisker.

          Like I said, I understand everything that you are saying, I just like Boyd as FB and Milf at 6. Just personal opinion really.

          I think Bennett needs to wear some more of the blame here, Walters should be part of the coaching staff, but Wayne didn’t let him back in. He was a big part of the success of Hunt and Milford, and offered to come back last year to help again, but poor old Wayne saw him as a threat and said no.

        • eels47

          “I just like Boyd as FB and Milf at 6. Just personal opinion really.”

          And no doubt you are in the majority on this, but you know me, I like to be the lone wolf! Hooooooooooooowl!!! No one was talking about moving Josh Reynolds to hooker for example until I raised the point then a lot of others came on board (just one example of many). 😉 If nothing else it is good to start a discussion to consider points of view. After his most recent efforts with the Broncos and coaching England I thought Wayne appreciate some fresh ideas. He seems to have run out ATM! LOL

        • You can’t use the same argument for DCE considering he played amazing footy for 5 years since he started then struggled for it in 2016 due to injuires and the team always changing including no halves partner. Hunt has no excuses to be out of form. Hunt was a nobody until 2015 than in 2016 he returned to the old hunt. He’s the definition of one year wonder.

        • Not quite. In 2014 He was selected in the Queensland squad to cover an injury to DCE, but didn’t play in the end. He was also selected in the 4 nations squad and played a couple of games, including the final. He also finished 4th in Dally M votes.

          Anyway, my comparison with DCE is more about not hanging the bloke out to dry based on one season.. The whole Broncos team failed to live up to expectations in 2016, and yes their halves were a big part of that, but so were there forwards, who simply didn’t do the job up front that was required, or at least as well as they did in 2015.

      • holmsey, Ben Hunt is a decent player IMO but had an off year in 2016 coming down from the high and the obvious disappointment of the 2015 GF. One swallow does not a summer make, and one mistake does not define a players career.

        Perhaps 2017 is the year Hunt and Milford will turn their form around, if not I feel Hunt needs a fresh start and either a change of coach (ideally Kevin Walters) or a change of club (perhaps to the Eels) where he can link up with Corey Norman and have a fresh start.

        • Hunt had his Xanadu and he blue it , !!
          He is an average player who just like DCE hit a purple patch in form Or was that more to do with the fact he was playing in a side playing good footy ? Like I’ve said Hunt dosnt do much for me and as for milf , mmmmm kinda like Barba , is better on the back of movement rather than trying to create it , still a very dangerous player , understand why gramps plays him at 5/8 but there’s your dellema he’s a very good FB , agree SSTID

    • trollz – i think you got the wrong club, it was dragons who have offered him a mil per season, not panthers.
      If the panthers did then, to quote toovery, “there needs to be an investigation”.
      You can get your knickers outta of a bunch now.

      • No I have the right team. I know the Dragons offered him a million a season. There was no reports on what the Panthers offered him, but the Panthers are the favourites to sign him now, not St George.

        • Just saw a tweet from Phil Gould re: this subject and it goes “I don’t think a 3 bedroom house in Caringbah is worth a million dollars, But if you really want one, that’s the price you pay”
          Don’t think they are in the running.
          Not doubting you, but where have you seen that?

  9. Semis swansong. Why not.
    I can just see him covered in champers at the end of the 2017 GF saying ‘i love yas all’

    • G’day Phat,

      Yep.
      Celebrating as the Eels fail to make the finals….. again.

      He’s saying “I Love you’s all” to his new French rugby mates.

      Champagne as he leaves the Eels for good and is excited about an actual future in footy….

        • You’d be overexcited too if it’d been 30 or so years since your last premiership…

          He’s a massive loss for the Eels. Massive. Avg 160m a game from the wing! French, Hoffman, Gutherson won’t get close to that number… All the parra boys should get down to the courthouse and support Semi cause without him their in for a tougher season…

        • “playing with the Phat?” That’s not something I thought I would have ever heard batman say! Are you sure you don’t want to rephrase that caped crusader? 😉

  10. He is not only a loss for the eels but for rugby league in general. He puts bums on seats and everyone loves saying his name. Could the nrl have done more to keep him in the game?

  11. Yep the NRL losses another big name player, forget its a Parra player or any team for that matter, these superstar players , and i believe Semi is, bring the crowds in and add to the excitement, if we continue to let the best players go our game will suffer, i don’t have an answer on how to stop it, but with the game generating so much money there has to be a way for the elite players to be payed more, perhaps each club can sign a marquee player for any amount subsidised by the NRL, at least that gives 16 elite players a chance to stay in the game or even sign Rugby players ie- All black players, who knows just my opinion, what does everyone else reckon.

    • The clubs just had to fight to get more gran money as it was from the NRL, which is now 130% of the salary cap. The NRL are not going to then subsidise a marquee player on top of this. That would leave the clubs to fund the marquee player themselves outside of the cap. However this would only suit the rich clubs, and the clubs like Newcastle would not e able to afford it.

      • plus there is already provision within the cap for marquee players, you can’t (shouldn’t be allowed to) have more than 1 marquee – otherwise the definition of a marquee is diluted.
        Where do you stop?
        The NRL (just like the ARU) will never be able to compete with the riches of overseas clubs/sports so we, as supporters, should not get upset or wound up about this fact of life. But, there is a simple way to reduce the gap – more people get out to games, buy merchandise, watch the sport and punt on it. However realistically we are a small nation with (on a global scale) a small sport watched by millions, not tens or hundreds of millions thus there will be little to no chance of it happening.

      • No the NRL pays the player that each club nominates, so all equal, anyway it was just a suggestion, what have you got then?

        • What I am saying is that the NRL won’t be forking out the cash for each club to have a marquee player. I am not attacking your idea and I can see the merits in it, I just don’t see it happening

          Like Billy said, we as fans need to accept that the NRL will never be able to compete with the money that is offered in French rugby, or Japanese rugby, or the NFL. All they can offer is the opportunity to be paid well to play in one of the most physically demanding competitions in the world. But who can blame a player for wanting to earn more to do less work elsewhere?

        • Not ridiculing you or anything like, just cant see NRL or clubs allowing it to or making it happen.
          The cynic in me suggests clubs like Broncos, Roosters etc wouldn’t want it to happen as it would most likely upset their current cushy arrangements and affect their ability to sign a rep player and “improve their cap position”.
          Also, for every 1 player that leaves to chase the $$$’s there are 10 more ready to take his place.
          Look whats happening to the ARU – all their best players are leaving to play in the UK, France, Japan and very soon China. Simple matter of economics – they don’t have the $$$’s to compete.

        • I agree with you billy and eels what you say is correct, but something needs to be done to keep our best players from leaving.

          One way the NRL can look at this is legislating that if a player leaves for another sport, they will not be allowed back to the NRL comp ever again, that will make them think twice, there are ways to get around this legally, it needs to be pointed out to players that you can have a great career post NRL in many ways, and that if your new chosen sport doesn’t work out your options become limited.

        • Again, I am not trying to attack you opinions, although it does seem as though I am, sorry. But you can’t stop someone from wanting to try something new, chase more money, whatever the reasons are. If a player leaves and realizes the grass isn’t greener on the other side, then why shouldn’t they be allowed back.

          As you say, we want the best players playing our game. Take Hayne for example, he left to try a new challenge. He had some success but realized it either wasn’t for him or the learning curve was too steep and he would never be as successful as he wanted. So he comes back, creates a media frenzy and helps get crowds back to Gold Coast games. I personally don’t see anything wrong with that.

          I don’t have a solution to the problem that you are pointing out, as I don’t think there is one, there simply is not enough money in rugby league to compete with the overseas threat.

  12. What I don’t understand, Semi is said to be looking for his future, he only get a one year contract with Toulon with the option of a second year, that doesn’t sound like to much confidence from the club. the club have, covered their butt if doesn’t work they let him go after the first season, and he will be back in the NRL

    • The option is in Semi’s favour, not the clubs. So it is more along the lines of Semi making sure he is happy over there (or that he doesn’t get a larger offer elsewhere). I think he might end up as a bit of a mercenary, in that he will constantly move around looking for the better offer, and good luck to him, he is entitled to look after himself and his family.

  13. hes bidded farewell already hasnt even trained and still on the wanted list for failure to appear … another useless article ..believe that

    • Wrong! Again! Unless of course he has a twin brother who is at training in the photos that the Eels put up on their Facebook feeds and website.

      Seriously, do you even believe the rubbish that you write on here?

    • I agree stimo and I have posted something similar before I think. Of course that would mean Souths wouldn’t now have Sam Burgess but maybe it might have stopped him leaving in the first place. Players can’t just jump between AFL, RL, RU and NFL it just doesn’t work that way. Players should pick a sport and stick to it. I would understand if they can’t get a contract and are trying to find employment but all this chopping and changing around has become too common and too much of a distraction to the game.

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