Eels coach Arthur stands by son Jakob

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has rubbished rumours Clint Gutherson will make a last-minute switch into the halves this weekend, insisting son Jakob has earned the first shot at replacing injured halfback Mitch Moses.

Arthur says Moses will miss at least "a couple of weeks" on the run to the finals after undergoing successful surgery to repair a broken finger on Monday.

Arthur has been named at halfback for Friday's game against Manly but regular fullback Gutherson spent time training in the halves on Monday, leading to speculation of a last-minute switch.

But the Eels' coach said he had faith in his son to perform to the Eels' standards in just the 10th start of his young first-grade career.

"Jake is playing at seven," Arthur said.

"He's done a good job, he deserves his opportunity.

"We're excited for him. He's just got to see it as a good opportunity to keep learning his craft in a really good team."

Five-eighth Dylan Brown will ease pressure on Arthur against the Sea Eagles by kicking more than usual and both will work with the injured Moses to perfect their chemistry as the Eels' temporary halves combination.

"(Moses) will get around, help the halves, he'll continue to have plenty of input into how we want to play," Arthur said.

Arthur has not started in the halves for the Eels since April, when a spate of injuries in the outside backs led coach Arthur to shift Brown to the centres and start his son at five-eighth.

Father and son were both targeted with claims of nepotism from social media punters at the time, but Arthur said he worked hard to ensure Jakob was treated no differently from any other member of the team.

"Sometimes that's tough because you want to be harder on your own kids but I've got to give credit to the playing group because they keep me in check.

"He doesn't get any special privileges and he doesn't get treated any more harshly than anyone else."

The game against the Sea Eagles will be Arthur's first since he was booed by members of the Parramatta home crowd before the round-19 loss to Brisbane.

The playing group was quick to rally around Jacob, who has become used to the backlash being the son of the NRL coach.

"He's a pretty resilient, tough kid," his father said.

"He's probably had to deal with it since he was 14 or 15, so it hasn't affected him."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting