Clint Gutherson news stuns NRL world with Parramatta 'pursuing a fullback'
The Parramatta Eels are reportedly on the hunt for a fullback, but that doesn't mean their captain is on the outer.
NRL great Billy Slater has expressed his shock at reports the Parramatta Eels are on the hunt for a fullback, despite having gun captain Clint Gutherson still under contract. Michael Chammas of the Sydney Morning Herald revealed on Sunday afternoon that the Eels are keen on adding a game-breaking fullback to their team, with Gutherson giving the team his blessing to do so.
According to Chammas, the Eels are looking to add some star power to their backline and believe a fullback will be their best option. However it doesn't mean that Gutherson is on the outer.
'THAT'S DISGRACEFUL': Phil Gould blows up over Manly drama
BRUTAL: Joseph Suaalii teammate takes swipe over rugby move
The Eels reportedly sat down with Gurtherson to explain their thinking, with the captain “giving the club his blessing” to do whatever it takes to help the side win. Chammas told Channel 9: “The Parramatta Eels in the past week have been ringing people in the game looking for a fullback.
“I spoke to the club, they say they informed Clint Gutherson of their pursuit of a fullback. They say they are just looking for a game-breaker and X-factor to add to their backline. It doesn’t mean Gutherson will be dethroned as the fullback but it does mean they’re on the lookout for someone who could play in that position, potentially forcing a reshuffle there.”
Gutherson has played in the centres for NSW at State of Origin level, however it didn't go particularly well. One chain of thought is a potential new fullback could come off the bench for the Eels and play a roaming role.
Addressing the reports on Channel 9, champion Melbourne Storm fullback and Queensland State of Origin coach Slater said: "I can't believe it to be honest. I think Clint Gutherson is one of the best fullbacks in the game.
"Sometimes we look at the shiny, bright stuff that the fullbacks can do, and Gutherson adds so much more to that team than the bright, shiny stuff. I look at that position and think, ‘Can that team win a competition with that player at fullback?’ and I can see that with Clint Gutherson. So I can’t believe that they would be looking elsewhere.”
Gutherson has been at Parramatta since 2016 and has formed a familiar combination with halves Mitchell Moses and Dylan Brown. He led the Eels to the grand final in 2022, however they were blown off the park by a red-hot Penrith Panthers side.
Is it April yet? wtf am i listening to
— ERA (@Killuminatiera2) March 26, 2023
Will we finally see Gutho at his rightful home of 5/8?
— Braden (@Bradenjbrady) March 26, 2023
Guthos a top 8 fullback in the comp, a top 3 defending fullback to that aswell. Club probably chasing a centre, not a fb.
— Todd G (@ToddyGreaser) March 26, 2023
@MattClarkBoxing Just fell off sofa hearing this
— Known as Shrek (@Ausogre) March 26, 2023
I think they need another centre. Maybe the fullback as a backup option in case something happens to Gutho.
— Joel 🇦🇺🖖 (@PlainSimpleJoel) March 26, 2023
Mitchell Moses staying at Parramatta Eels
The Eels grabbed their first win of the season on Thursday night, beating the Panthers 17-16 in the grand final rematch. The win was much-needed for Parramatta after an 0-3 start to the season raised alarm bells.
Moses has reportedly agreed to a new five-year deal at Parramatta, with the Eels winning the halfback's signature after he was coveted by the Wests Tigers. Speaking after Thursday's win, coach Brad Arthur said the deal had not yet been finalised but that Moses' intentions were clear.
"Nothing's been confirmed," he said. "Obviously, he knows what he wants to do and you could see he was thinking very clearly tonight. He's been under a bit of pressure but he responded in the best way possible."
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.