Parramatta Eels rubbish reports Semi Radradra will defect
THE Parramatta Eels have kicked rumours that star winger Semi Radradra was about to leave the club into touch.
Reports out of Fiji quoting the local newspaper suggested Parramatta would release Radradra to grab a huge six-figure deal to play rugby union in France.
Radradra's sister was also quoted in the Fiji Times saying her brother had spoken to their parents about a code switch.
But the Eels released a statement yesterday saying the winger, who made his Australian debut last month, would be staying at the NRL club until at least the end of the 2017 NRL season.
Radradra had been given permission by the club to fly to Fiji for a short family visit during the bye round.
That prompted media reports suggesting he would not return and instead take up a gig with a Top 14 rugby club in France.
But in a statement the club said Radradra would be returning to prepare for the team's next game against the Sharks, with the star back remaining with Parramatta through to 2017.
"Like other Eels players during the bye round, Semi was granted leave by the club to return home and visit family," Radradra's manager George Christodolou said in the statement.
"This has led to some unnecessary speculation regarding his future.
"I have spoken to Semi directly and he would like to assure Eels fans and the wider rugby league community that he will be returning as scheduled in time to prepare for Eels' next NRL game against Cronulla.
"He remains fully committed to his teammates and will be remaining with the Eels until at least the end of the 2017 season, as per his current contract."
The news would have come as a major relief for all concerned at the Eels after a season to forget off the field.
The club was fined $1million by the NRL and confirmation is expected soon that the Eels will be stripped of 12competition points due to salary-cap breaches that have already forced a number of players out the door.
The club has already seen back-rower Anthony Watmough retire because of the salary cap saga, with Nathan Peats being moved on to the Titans and Junior Paulo shipped out to Canberra.
Club captain Kieran Foran also missed a number of games through personal issues.