Manly Warringah Sea Eagles have released live wire hooker Matt Parcell to the Leeds Rhinos, effective immediately.
Parcell has trained with the Sea Eagles full time squad for the past six weeks and was set to battle it out with Apisai Kourisou for the number nine jersey for the upcoming 2017 season.
However, the former Brisbane Broncos and Ipswich Jets hooker felt his running style of dummy half play was better suited to the Super League than the NRL.
After discussions with Head Coach Trent Barrett and Manly Head of Football, Bob Fulton, at the club’s training camp in Coffs Harbour last week, negotiations between Manly and Leeds got serious.
Fulton negotiated the exit through Parcell’s manager Clinton Schifcofske and Leeds Rhinos highly respected Chief Executive Gary Hetherington.
“Manly have great respect for Gary Hetherington and the Rhinos. They are a professionally run club and the Rhinos will be a good fit for Matt Parcell who is a young player starting out on his career,’’ Fulton said.
“We are well off for hookers and this gives Matt a wonderful opportunity at a great club. Hopefully it is the start of a long term association between the clubs. The owners of the Sea Eagles, the Penn family, have great respect for the Rhinos.”
Parcell said he enjoyed his time at the Sea Eagles and wished the club well.
“I have nothing but respect for my team-mates and the coaching staff here at the Sea Eagles,’’ Parcell said.
“The club has been good to me since I moved down from Queensland and it was an honour to wear the great Manly colours. I wish Trent and the boys all the very best for 2017 and beyond.
“I’m excited to have signed a deal with Leeds Rhinos. After talking to Gary and Brian, I think the brand of football they want to play is really going to suit my game.
“Playing in England has always been something that I have wanted to do and I’m looking forward to the move.”
The Rhinos have paid an undisclosed transfer fee for Parcell.
Hetherington thanked Manly for their co-operation and was pleased with the strong relationship between the two clubs.
“Manly have been thoroughly professional in their dealings and Bob Fulton has shown great understanding in giving young Parcell an opportunity to ply his trade in England for the right reasons,’’ Hetherington said.
“We have enjoyed a good relationship with the management at the club which developed after our two World Club Challenge meetings and that has continued to develop since. After speaking with Bob Fulton we both feel we can further strengthen our relationship in the future.
“We have had great success with players from Manly over the years with Cliffy Lyons regarded as one of the best players to play with both clubs and, in more recent seasons, former Manly junior Adam Cuthbertson has been one of our best forwards.”