Former Parramatta recruitment manager Anthony Field has opened up on the intricacies that saw Storm superstar Ryan Papenhuyzen almost become an Eel.
Following a trial with the Eels as a junior, Papenhuyzen opted not to accept the Eels' offer to continue with the club, instead placing his loyalty with his local side the Dundas Shamrocks.
The Clive Churchill medallist stated last season that the Eels had overlooked him during his junior days playing rugby league, union and touch football.
However, Field has since revealed to The Daily Telegraph of how the failed bid to land the speedy fullback occurred.
The former Eels recruiter stated he had first been alerted of Papenhuyzen's prospects by former Parramatta director Peter Serrao, putting a line through any suggestion the club weren't keen on signing the New South Wales junior.
“I have read all the stories about the Eels knocking him back and had a little laugh,” Field said.
“They are wrong. And I know because I was the one who tried to sign him.
“I did my research on him after getting the heads-up from Peter."
Field revealed that an offer was made for Papenhuyzen to join the Eels' junior ranks, however his father rebuffed Parramatta's advances.
“I invited him to a trial," Field said. "Paps played a game with us down at Cabramatta. He went pretty good and I saw that he had something in him that was worth making an offer.
"I offered him a position in the Under 15s development squad for the following year. As part of the deal, I told him that he would need to come back and play in our district.
“(His dad) thanked me for the opportunity and the offer but told me he had made a commitment to his mates at the Shamrocks and wanted to stay loyal to his local club.
"So that’s what happened. That is why he isn’t an Eel.”
Papenhuyzen went on to play for Balmain's SG Ball side before joining the Wests Tigers as a junior.
The Tigers eventually released Papenhuyzen to the Storm, with the Kellyville product eventually making his NRL debut with Melbourne in 2019 as a 20-year-old.
Papenhuyzen has since led the Storm to premiership glory, being named best afield in last year's Grand Final.
The 23-year-old will be looking to mirror his efforts across the next week, with a Grand Final rematch to take place at Suncorp Stadium in Saturday's preliminary final showdown against Penrith.