To be missed ... Radradra celebrates a try with teammates.
To be missed ... Radradra celebrates a try with teammates.

Eels to leave door ajar for Semi Radradra return

PARRAMATTA are considering keeping a roster spot vacant for Semi Radradra in case he returns next season.

Foxsports.com.au understands the Eels have four places on their roster vacant ahead of the 2018 season and are in no hurry to fill them.

While the Eels are also exploring the market both in the NRL, overseas and rival codes, a suitable replacement for Radradra is yet to present himself.

It's understood rugby convert Marika Koroibete was a consideration some months ago however, due to his asking price, the club never pursued that option.

Still, Radradra returning to the NRL as soon as 2018 is a genuine possibility.

The flying Fijian signed a lucrative two-year-deal with French-based rugby side Toulon earlier this year and will join the rival code effective immediately as their season has already kicked off.

French rugby's Top 14 season goes until May and Radradra's contract is one year with an option for a second.

If desired, the flyer could return mid-season and finish the year with the Eels.

"It's disappointing for Semi to go out on those terms," Eels coach Brad Arthur said after last Saturday's finals loss to North Queensland.

"He's been great for our club.

 

Semi Radradra after scoring a try.
Semi Radradra after scoring a try. JOEL CARRETT

"He's worked extremely hard to get himself to the football he is right now and at some stage we'd like to have him back."

The club have discussed several succession plans for Radradra throughout the year, which includes promoting from within the squad.

The Eels have a host of talented youngsters who graduate from the NYC this year like Greg Leleisiuao, while the likes of Intrust Super Premiership players George Jennings and Nathan Davis are also options.

The vision for 2018's left edge will become clearer in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, the priority position for the club to fill ahead of next season is a forward.

While Roosters prop Kane Evans joins their squad next year, the Eels are actively pursuing another middle.

Managers have been given a description for the type of player the club is chasing and they must have similar physical traits to that of Evans.

The Eels have plenty of low set, wrecking ball style middles with Tim Mannah, Daniel Alvaro, Suaia Matagi and Siosaia Vave on contract.

With the exception of Radradra's exit and the addition of Evans, the club's roster will hardly change.

They will also welcome back Bevan French and Clint Gutherson from injury in a boost for the club as they continue to develop their existing combinations.

"We can legitimately build on next year," utility Will Smith said.

"The only person we're missing is Semi and we get another forward in Kane Evans who'll be a big help to our pack.

"With the team sticking around, especially with where they've come to now from last year, it's going to be good."

News Corp Australia


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