Tag Archive: Chris Hicks


Eels turn age into experience

They may not have the glitz of a Timana Tahu or a Krisnan Inu, but Parramatta backrower Ben Smith claims NRL opponents can write off the Eels’ `Dad’s Army’ backline at their own peril. The off-season acquisition of veteran three-quarters Chris Walker, Paul Whatuira and Chris Hicks to fill a barren backline was met with some derision by critics, who claimed the trio had passed their used by date following Super League stints. Walker and Hicks are both 30-plus, while Whatuira turns 30 mid-year, with the trio essentially coming in for the departed Tahu (released), Inu (Warriors) and Eric Grothe (retired). The lack of star power out wide threw up the possibility that Smith would go back to his younger days and return to the centres, but he confirmed he would remain in the backrow with Eels coach Stephen Kearney more than happy with his options out wide. Continue reading

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McGuire provides spark for Eels

The signing of Casey McGuire by Parramatta in the off-season caused few ripples around the NRL, but on Saturday’s evidence that could soon change.

The 31-year-old former Brisbane utility has returned to Australia from a four-year stint with French side Les Catalans, and looked a class act against West Tigers at Campbelltown as the Eels eased to a 30-10 trial win.

Playing out of dummy-half, McGuire was sharp around the fringes of the ruck and gave Parramatta the energy in attack they so badly lacked last season.

Only Cronulla scoring fewer tries in 2010 as the Eels, pre-season premiership favourites, failed to make the finals. Continue reading

Premiership talisman Paul Whatuira is desperate to repay the faith at Parramatta, but isn’t promising a premiership.Whatuira, who won grand finals with Penrith in 2003 and the Wests Tigers two years later, was thrown a lifeline by the Eels for 2011 after a troubled stint in the UK Super League. If he was to notch a third premiership ring this year, he would equal Glenn Lazarus’s record of three titles at three different NRL clubs. The former Test prop won competitions with Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne. “No, it’s a long season ahead and a lot of hard work goes on in the background,” he told reporters. “All I want to do is, if my opportunity comes, I’ll take it with both hands and hopefully I can front up for the team and play some good football.” Continue reading