Eels anoint Clint Gutherson as NRL captain

Matt Encarnacion
Clint Gutherson has been appointed co-captain of NRL club Parramatta

Parramatta have appointed Clinton Gutherson as co-captain for the rest of the season as they desperately attempt to breathe life into their flailing NRL season.

A week after making a successful return from an ACL injury, Gutherson was on Saturday anointed to lead the team alongside Tim Mannah and Beau Scott - who was this week named on an extra reserve.

"Each player brings different strengths to our team, and Clint has certainly proven his leadership skills and deserves to be rewarded for it," Eels coach Brad Arthur said.

"Clint will have the opportunity to develop as a leader under the tutelage of two experienced captains in Tim and Beau."

The captaincy restructure comes as Arthur's side aims to end their seven-game losing streak to open the season against another embattled club in Manly.

While the Eels have bolstered their leadership, Sea Eagles skipper Daly Cherry-Evans has been accused of literally coming to blows with Jackson Hastings on separate occasions over the past fortnight.

The shock developments have forced coach Trent Barrett to immediately exile his Hastings from the playing group, who themselves have had to defend reports they refused to play with the utility.

They are also on a two-game slide and in danger of losing touch with the top eight, leaving the Sea Eagles alongside the Eels in a precarious position early in the season.

"We're no strangers to it either," Arthur said.

"Every club goes through it and every club has a backs-to-the-wall mentality and they'll be no different. Both teams are desperate to perform well for their fans and we're expecting a real hard game."

Arthur has continued to tinker with his line-up in a bid to find a winning combination, omitting Bevan French after admitting to bringing him back from a shoulder injury too early last week.

Jarryd Hayne returns early from a quad injury and will play wing, while Brad Takairangi has overcome a fractured eye socket to replace Kirisome Auva'a (ribs).

Kane Evans starts at prop, with Peni Terepo moving to lock for Tepai Moeroa (concussion) against a Sea Eagles side unchanged from their heavy loss to the Wests Tigers.

STATS THAT MATTER

- The Eels need to score 14 points against Manly to avoid having the fewest points of any team in the NRL era through the opening seven rounds.

- Jarryd Hayne has not started an NRL match on the wing since round 18, 2008 against South Sydney. He has scored 25 tries in 32 games on the wing over his career.

- Akuila Uate has failed to score in his past 10 games - the longest drought of his NRL career. His next try will bring up 500 career points.