The Parramatta Eels have re-signed Pauli Pauli on a new two-year deal
Pauli Pauli has re-signed with the Eels….
THE Parramatta Eels have beaten NRL rivals to land the signature of 120kg local junior Pauli Pauli for the next two seasons.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the new two-year contract for the Eels power forward will be announced today, continuing the club’s positive recruitment and retention drive on the back of resolving the contract standoff with marquee signing Kieran Foran.
The development comes as the Eels continue to resolve the club’s salary cap breaches mess, with the NRL this week reducing its original $525,000 fine to $465,000.
The Eels are also expected to announce the signatures of local junior Ryan Morgan, young gun under 20s fullback Bevan French, Kaiser Pritchard and David Gower.
Manly fringe NRL forward James Hasson is also tipped to join coach Brad Arthur next season as the Eels continue an overhaul in terms of recruitment and retention.
A Hills District Bulls junior who has been part of the Parramatta system since 2012, Pauli is also handy with a pair of boxing gloves and is a member of the Eels God squad.
Parramatta coach Brad Arthur confirmed the Eels intended to continue a focus on developing blue and gold juniors through the grades into the club’s NRL ranks.
“Being a local junior, it’s a great result for the club. He’s one of those kids we’ve put a lot of effort into. He’s still well off being his best but his physicality, that’s what you can’t coach,” Arthur said.
“He’s big and strong and he runs the ball hard, they’re his strengths.
He’s slowly earning the respect of the rest of the group too through his defensive efforts over the last three or four games.
“He’s featured in a couple of our little one per cent efforts in defence which hasn’t always been a regular trait of his but he knows that’s what he needs to do if he wants to play regular NRL football.
“The good thing we’ve got happening next year is we’ll have some experienced senior players with leadership skills helping out our younger guys.
“We value the importance of local juniors and bringing them through and retaining them at our club and hopefully they can learn from some of the more experienced players we’re bringing to the club.”
In round 16 against St George Illawarra, Pauli produced a shuddering goal line defensive play inside the final five minutes to ensure the Eels held on for a season-defining win over the Dragons.
The Eels need to continue to working with the NRL on the club’s governance review with the threat of starting next season on minus four points still a risk unless they get the blue and gold front office in order.