AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Danny Wicks of the Eels reacts during the round 26 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Parramatta Eels at Mt Smart Stadium on September 4, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

Front-rower Danny Wicks has quit the Parramatta Eels and retired from the NRL just three months after signing a two-year contract extension.

The 30-year-old forward informed coach Brad Arthur and his teammates of his decision on Monday, having just returned from his off-season break.

The Eels are now talking to former Penrith and Canterbury Bulldogs enforcer Frank Pritchard as a possible replacement in the Parramatta front-row.

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Good crew. #wedding #thecatsouttathebag

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Parramatta Eels 2017 Player Movements

2017 Gains
Dane Aukafolau (2018), Kirisome Auva'a (South Sydney Rabbitohs, 2018), Nathan Brown (South Sydney Rabbitohs, 2021), Troy Dargan (2019), Nathan Davis (Gold Coast Titans, 2018), Jamal Fogarty (2017), Josh Hoffman (Gold Coast Titans, 2019), George Jennings (Penrith Panthers, 2019), Greg Leleisiuao (2019), Suaia Matagi (Penrith Panthers, 2019), Willis Meehan (2017), Mitchell Moses (Wests Tigers, 2019), Marata Niukore (New Zealand Warriors, 2019), Frank Pritchard (Hull FC, 2017), Jeff Robson (Mid Season: New Zealand Warriors, 2017), Will Smith (Penrith Panthers, 2020), Siosaia Vave (Manly Sea Eagles, 2018)
2017 Losses
Mitch Cornish (Sydney Roosters), Kieran Foran (New Zealand Warriors), Tyrell Fuimaono (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Michael Gordon (Sydney Roosters), Luke Kelly (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Ryan Morgan (St Helens RLFC), Kieren Moss (Hull Kingston Rovers), Junior Paulo (Canberra Raiders), Nathan Peats (Gold Coast Titans), Vai Toutai (released), Anthony Watmough (retired), Danny Wicks (retired)
Re-Signed
Daniel Alvaro (2019), Isaac De Gois (2017), Kenny Edwards (2019), Bureta Faraimo (2019), Bevan French (2019), Clinton Gutherson (2019), James Hasson (2017), Cameron King (2018), Manu Ma'u (2019), Tim Mannah (2019), Jack Morris (2018), Cody Nelson (2017), Corey Norman (2019), Rory O'Brien (2017), Kaysa Pritchard (2019), Jeff Robson (2017), Scott Schulte (2017), Brad Takairangi (2019), Kelepi Tanginoa (2019), Honeti Tuha (2017), Alex Twal (2020), Matthew Woods (2017)
Off Contract 2019
Daniel Alvaro, Dylan Brown, Andrew Davey, Bevan French, David Gower, Clinton Gutherson, Josh Hoffman, George Jennings, Greg Leleisiuao, Manu Ma'u, Reed Mahoney, Tim Mannah, Tepai Moeroa, Mitchell Moses, Corey Norman, Kaysa Pritchard, Brad Takairangi, Peni Terepo, Stefano Utoikamanu
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50 COMMENTS

  1. reading an article on him, basically just wants to go home up the coast and chill.
    Just got married etc etc.

    • old news, signed last week, ten days cooling off period in force.
      Also Suai Matagi signed over the weekend, rejecting Manly’s offer.
      Good pack for next year, even with the loss of Danny,

      • I had heard (from people involved) we had Matagi all stitched up but then we got trumped by you guys late and bozo couldn’t/wouldn’t match.

        Where did u hear he rejected our offer? Interested to find out the details…? cause if a bench prop is turning down offers it’s not a good sign.

        • by rejecting offer means he signed with Eels not Seagles.
          I have no idea $$’s or terms but just stating the obvious

  2. I’m sad as a supporter but happy for him as a person. Will miss him, top bloke and solid player. His redemption was sweet. All the best wicksy!

  3. Suaia Matagi has also been signed by Parra. Wicks is a loss but they have more than enough props to cover him leaving.

  4. Huge loss in my mind. Played goods minutes, great foot work at the line and always gave 100%. Hope it all works out for him and his family.

  5. Sad news for the club. I’m stunned, but a HUGE thank you, and well done to the man.

    He’s one of my favourite players, and even though he’s no longer playing, he will remain so for a long time to come.

    • Real surprise this one. He played with a lot of heart and put in a consistent effort each week. No doubt he will be missed by the Eels. Don’t expect Vave or Pritchard to have the same motor or consistency as Wicks IMO.

  6. Cheers for the couple of years Danny, Was a great player and even better bloke. Gonna miss seeing you at fan days and on field. Best of luck in your next chapter

  7. I was very vocal and against Saints signing Packer, I didn’t think much of Wicks either but both proved me wrong… Good luck too him, played really well for Parra this year.

  8. I think maybe Arthur knew this was happening….
    With Pritchard, Vave, Matagi, Brown all coming on board.

    I still think they’ll have too many in the forward pack. Who will get dropped? and I don’t think it’ll be Mannah. They wouldn’t treat him that way IMO.

    Any parra supporters care to give their top starting forward pack and reserves? And who they think would make way?

    • Its a shame Danny has decided to retire, had turned his life around after his conviction and time and from all reports became a model citizen. Good luck in Yamba,
      As far as forward stocks go, Eels are pretty well covered even with the loss of Wicks.
      8. Mannah
      9. IDG
      10. F Pritchard
      11. Ma’u
      12. Moeroa
      13. Scott

      14. K Pritchard
      15. Edwards
      16. Alvaro
      17. Brown

      Rotation from Matagi, Vave, O’Brien

      IMHO that’s a fairly imposing pack which has plenty that can play big minutes (M’au, Alavaro, Moeroa, Edwards) and has plenty of impact off the bench (Edwards & Brown).
      If K Pritchard can harness his energy and not think he’s a hitman, he will go a lot better and provide the spark with Kenny late in the halves.

      • Billy,

        Not wrong. Shame about wicks. Played with a lot of heart and controlled aggression.

        You reckon you purchased Vave (reportedly on bigger coin than Manly was offering) to play him in ressies?

        Can’t see Matagi playing ressies either tbo.
        Obrien maybe – he’s a big body but pretty soft.

        It’s a great looking pack but just doesn’t make sense to me because there’ll be some coin wasted in the ressies.

        Manly got stuck like this with Mateo and Burgess. Both bought by earlier recruitment and then not wanted.
        But Arthur appears to be buying first graders and plans to play them in ressies?

        • Also forgot to add Terepo, Twal and Tanganoa as forward rotations.
          My thinking is that signings were not just about 2017, they were long term purchase.
          From what I hear the money for Vave, Brown and Matagi was only in the vicinity of 250k max, not a lot of coin in the scheme of things. Pritchard was only $150k
          Mannah may only have 1-2 years left. F Pritchard only signed for a year, Scott may have 1-2 years before he retires – those 3 go and theres a big hole to fill.
          Get them (Vave, Brown, Matagi) in the system on rotation, train them, school them and when those 3 retire BA wont have to go looking to the market, he brings them in first choice and no momentum is lost (provided we have some..)
          To be successful, you need quality backup forwards to cover injury and loss of form, I think BA has that now.
          Time will tell.

        • I’m hearing what your saying but Vave will be 32 next year.
          Pritchard 34.
          Mannah and Matagi 29.

          Matagi and Vave you believe will sit in resevres waiting for Mannah and Scott to retire?… don’t get it. They’ll be in wheel chairs…

          The only signing I agree with is Brown and he’ll be a handy type off the bench if he doesn’t sit on the sidelines too long.

          I just don’t understand having $250k fringe first graders if you aren’t going to play them? Maybe it’s just me though.

        • the age of the Vave, Matagi surprised me – i hadnt checked that aspect out, I was of the opinion (wrongly obviously) that they were late 20’s only. That changes things a bit….

        • It was making even less sense to me until Wicks announced his retirement.

          It’s like BA knew he was going a while ago otherwise you’d be having further headaches with selections.

          Vave will be in your 17. So will Matagi and Brown.

          Means Alvaro must be going to be dropped?… and possibly you’ll play a 4 forward bench…. which I wouldn’t given your spine is a little (honest opinion) underdone.

      • Alvaro & Prithard will be lucky to make 18th 19th man & Pritchard ain’t a Prop this should be our forward pack

        8. Sausai Matagi
        9. Isaac De Gois
        10. Tim Mannah
        11. Manu Ma’u
        12. Beau Scott
        13. Frank Pritchard
        ———————————–
        14. Kenny Edwards
        15. Tepai Moeroa
        16. Nathan Brown
        17. Soasia Vave

    • I did have Mannah out of the team all together just last week, but with Wicks gone I would bring him into the starting lineup, at least at the start of the season, only because he offers nothing off the bench.

      Mannah
      De Gois (Robson)
      Ma’u
      Moeroa
      Scott

      K Pritchard
      Edwards
      Brown
      Vave

      While I like the signing of Frank Pritchard, I cannot fit him in to the pack at the moment, same with Matagi. If Brown proves that he can be a first grade starting prop and play good minutes, than Mannah goes and Pritchard of Matagi come in.

      I also agree with Billy, BA is planning for the future with getting his pack sorted. Until last year, largely due to Beau Scott, Parra has been soft up the middle. BA is sorting that out, and is not only thinking about next year, something past coaches/administration could not do.

      • I also left out Alvaro, who I think will be in there somewhere too….. Hang on, ;eft out a prop too…..

        OK, so Brown to start and Alvaro on bench. Still think Mannah’s days are numbered though.

        Must be coffee time I think…..

        • Yeah exactly my point. It’s hard to see it coming together. Which, don’t get me wrong, it’s a good problem to have but I just would have though your efforts of recruitment would have been aimed more directly at a 9,6,1.

          Paying this guys $250k to sit in ressies is a no no as far as I’m concerned.

          But I’m sure BA has a plan. He’s an NRL head coach for a reason and I am not 🙂

        • Like I mentioned on an article last week, while I agree Parra’s spine is the biggest area of concern, I am also glad that we haven’t signed anyone to cover those positions. There has been no one available that would make a great difference to the team, and Parra haven’t made the same mistake as previous years of simply going after whoever is available, paying top dollar. BA does seem to have a plan, and we all know that there is so much talent off contract at the end of 2017.

          Of the halves and hookers that were available though, I would have given Mitch Rein a crack at a reasonable price. I know most on this site don’t rate him, but he was next in line for NSW a couple of years ago, and in the right team under the right coach, he could be a good acquisition. But at the same time, I am happy to leave DeGois there and have a crack at a top tier hooker next year. The only other one would be Luke Walsh on a 1 year deal, only because Parra don’t really have a strong kicker, but other than that he doesn’t offer anything that Robson doesn’t.

        • Rein signed with Panthers and Luke Walsh signed with the Knights…

          Understand and agree with your points though.

        • Yeah I get that, was just saying that they were the only 2 potentially worth looking at when they were available. Happy not to have chased them too though.

        • It is looking that way. Then Gutherson back to fullback, or centre if French can make it his own and puts on some size. Still will need a hooker though. One thing is certain, I was calling for Taka to move back to the backrow/bench as I think it is his natural position, but that is definitely out the window now.

          Interested on your thoughts as to the Manly backline next year with Lyon and Matai gone. Will Snake be back, and if so can Tommy T play centre? As much as I have been bred to hate Manly, I have always respected the success that they have had and it would be a disappointment if they do not get back near the top soon.

        • I’d love to know more than you trust me but there’s so many unknowns with Snake and Matai?… their worth $1.3mill between them so it changes the entire landscape if we have that kind of coin to lure some outside backs….

          It’s honestly too hard to guess unless we know what’s going on with those 2.
          Rumour is Matai will retire and his injury covered by insurance.
          Snake will play.

          So at this stage I’d say closest guess would be:

          Snake
          Tafua/Locke
          Trebojevic
          Walker
          Uate
          Green
          DCE

          But as I said – this is a massive assumption on Matai retiring and Snake playing.

          If that doesn’t happen Trebojevic would obviously play FB and we’d have money for whare or DWZ etc.

          Your guess is as good as mine. Hopefully know more closer to round 1…. 🙂

  9. Well, I didn’t see that coming. I just hope that it was voluntary and that he wasn’t shown the door to clear room on the cap for Pritchard. It just seems very strange that he only just signed a two year extension with is inconsistent with sudden change of heart. Perhaps his family circumstances changed?

    Frank “the tank” may be a bigger impact player but he doesn’t have the motor or the heart of Wicks. Wicks can be proud of his contribution to the Eels and in turning his life around. I wish him all the best in retirement.

    • he just got married, didn’t like the city life (comes from north coast Yamba) and just wants to go fishing….I’m hoping that’s all there is too it.
      I doubt that he would have been pushed out for the Tank, the tank is coming cheap and to finish his career off playing with his brother.

  10. All of the above ,however , something doesn’t add up ,,????? As for Frank ,,, Nah ,,,,, its like comparing a Tata to a Landcrusier ,

  11. 1. French
    2. Semi
    3. Jennings
    4. Takarangi
    5. Hoffman
    6. Gutherson
    7. Norman
    8. Matagi
    9. IDG
    10. Mannah
    11. Ma’u
    12. Moeroa
    13. Scott

    14. K Pritchard
    15. Alvaro
    16. Edwards
    17. F Pritchard

    Backs: Smith, Auv’a, Toutai,
    Halves: Robson, Fogarty
    Forwards: Vave, Brown, Terepo, Gower

    • Really like the look of the eels should be near the 8. Two areas the are lacking in are hooker and halves. They have a lot of depth which I belive would be worth sacrificing a bit of to sign in these positions. For example not in your starting 17 you have Auva Toutai Foloau Jennings and more as specialist back up centre’s. I would look to cut some reserve grade players such as Foloau and Gower and Co. Two signings which would much improve our team would be TODD CARNEY and MITCH REIN. Both looking for an nrl club and have little interest yet both capable proven players available on a good wage. If you couldn’t sign these two possibly look at WALSH and LEVI.

      • Rein has signed with Penrith weeks ago and no to Carney – too much trouble.
        Leopards never change their spots.

  12. Sad to see Danny go, but if he wants to be with his family then good luck to him. He gave his all in every game that he played for the Eels and you cannot ask for more than that. Thanks for the efforts mate, now go and enjoy life.

  13. Eels 2017

    1: B French
    2: S Radradra
    3: B Takairangi
    4: M Jennings
    5: J Hoffman
    6: C Gutherson
    7: C Norman
    8: T Mannah
    9: I Degois
    10: S Matgai
    11: M Mau
    12: T Moeroa
    13: B Scott (c)

    14: N Brown
    15: F Pritchard
    16: S Vave
    17: K Edwards

    Wenty

    1: W Smith
    2: B Faraimo
    3: V Toutai
    4: K A’uva
    5: G Jennings
    6: J Fogarty
    7: J Robson
    8: R Obrein
    9: K Pritchard
    10: D Alvaro
    11: K Tangnoia
    12: J Folau
    13: P Terepo

    14: J Hasson
    15: C Nelson
    16: C King
    17: A Twal

    That’s a very good side with plenty of depth
    I think J Fogarty, K Pritchard, G Jennings, K A’uva, P Terepo, D Alvaro will see a lot of first grade this year but

    • Can’t see you playing 4 forward bench considering your spine.

      You think Edwards would be your back up for the spine if someone got injured?

  14. 1. Bevan French
    2. Semi Radradra
    3. Michael Jennings
    4. Brad Takairangi
    5. Josh Hoffman
    6. Clint Gutherson
    7. Corey Norman
    8. Nathan Brown
    9. Isaac De Gois
    10. Tim Mannah
    11. Manu Ma’u
    12. Tepai Moeroa
    13. Beau Scott
    14. Frank Pritchard
    15. S Matgai
    16. Ken Edwards
    17. Siosaia Vave

    18. K pritchard
    19. Peni

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